Another twenty people have tested positive for coronavirus since the morning hours bringing the total number of infected in Israel to 324, with five patients remaining in a serious condition, health authorities reported on Tuesday.
The Health Ministry said at least 234 patients are hospitalized, 20 are in the process of hospitalization, while 64 others are being treated at home. Thirteen others are still being evaluated to decide whether they will be treated at a hospital or at home.
Eleven patients have recovered and have already been released from hospitals. The number represents a welcome increase as six Israelis were found to be free of the pathogen on Tuesday and are due to be discharged from Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
The director of the hospital's special unit, Dr. Gadi Segal, said: "I hope that the more [previously infected] people return to normal life, the more people will realize that the disease can be beaten, and the more they obey Ministry of Health's guidelines, the more it will be eradicated."
Nevertheless, five patients remain in a serious condition. One of the patients is an 88-year-old man with an underlying health condition. He was admitted to The Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem overnight Sunday with breathing problems.
Two other patients in serious condition are a tour driver who transported Greek pilgrims found to be infected upon their return home and a worker at Ben-Gurion Airport. Eleven others are in moderate condition and the rest in mild condition.
The Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed that another employee at one of the medical labs that conducts coronavirus tests has been infected with the new virus. The patient is a 50-year-old woman and she is the second case of a lab worker becoming infected with the pathogen.
On Sunday it was revealed that a senior employee at the Health Ministry’s central laboratory in Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer has tested positive for coronavirus. She has been quarantined and her condition is described as light.
The Health Ministry said they are working to find an alternative laboratory to conduct COVID-19 tests since the entire team working the infected employee must enter a 14-day home-quarantine.
In addition, a second doctor at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv has tested positive for COVID-19. Forty hospital staff members who worked with the doctor at the hospital's urology unit have entered a home-quarantine.
Earlier, another chief physician at Ichilov has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after working in a ward that treated patients suspected to have contracted the pathogen.
First published: 21:56, 03.17.20