Israel confirms 21st case of coronavirus

Four new patients since Thursday recently returned from Madrid, Vienna and Zurich; East Jerusalem bus driver who transported infected Greek pilgrims takes turn for worse in Tiberias hospital

Sivan Hilaie|
The Health Ministry said Friday that a man who recently returned from Madrid has been confirmed as Israel's 21st case of coronavirus.
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  • The man is the fourth new diagnosis since Thursday, which include recent returnees from Vienna and Zurich.
    The four newly diagnosed patients - two who returned from Madrid on February 27 and March 2, one who came back from Zurich on Tuesday and one who returned from Vienna on March 1 - are in isolation, the Health Ministry said.
    The condition of the man diagnosed as the 16th case of the virus deteriorated on Friday.
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     A Muslim worshiper wears a face mask at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday
     A Muslim worshiper wears a face mask at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday
    A Muslim worshiper wears a face mask at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday
    (Photo: AFP)
    The 38-year-old resident of East Jerusalem works as a tour bus driver and was likely exposed to the pathogen while transporting a group of 21 Greek pilgrims who recently returned from Israel and have tested positive for the virus.
    "In recent hours, despite intensive treatment, the patient's condition has worsened and he needs artificial respiration," said Poriya Hospital in Tiberias, where the man is being treated.
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    ארכיון בית חולים פווריה טבריה
    ארכיון בית חולים פווריה טבריה
    Poriya Hospital in Tiberias
    (Photo; Sharon Tzur)
    The hospital also said that medical team treating him is doing so in accordance with protocols that have been adopted by other countries.
    He arrived at the hospital after feeling ill and was diagnosed with serious pneumonia in both lungs and placed in isolation.

    Israel Police said Thursday it will begin to crack down on citizens who violate the Health Ministry's directives, which were designed to stem the spread of the virus.
    Police said it has opened eight criminal investigations against Israelis who have violated the state’s home quarantine rules or misled health ministry inspectors.
    Health Ministry officials visit quarantined Israelis

    “Israel Police will work in cooperation with the state prosecution in order to bring to justice anyone who chooses to ignore the Health Ministry instructions and endanger, with their actions — whether through negligence or intentionally — raising the dangers of the spread of the coronavirus,” a police official said.
    According to police, those who violate the state's directives could face up to seven years in prison.
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