Virus worries rise as over 250 cases diagnosed in 24 hours across Israel

Virus worries rise as over 250 cases diagnosed in 24 hours across Israel

The Health Ministry on Tuesday night recorded 258 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, marking the highest surge in daily infections since late April, as a health expert advising the prime minister warned the country was facing another closure due to mismanagement, Trend reports citing The Times of Israel.

Overall, there were 3,744 active virus cases as of Tuesday — an increase of over 1,700 new cases since June 1, ministry data indicated. Tel Aviv, seen as a center of the newest outbreak, has passed the 1,000 case mark, according to ministry figures, up from 611 at the start of the month.

No new deaths were reported on Tuesday, keeping the toll at 302 since the start of the outbreak in March. There are 39 people in serious condition, including 29 on ventilators. Another 41 people are in moderate condition and the rest are displaying mild symptoms. The ministry data also said 14,371 virus tests were conducted on Monday.

The high-level coronavirus cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was set to convene on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the rise in cases and whether to reimpose certain restrictions.

According to Channel 12 news, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein was pushing for the reopening of the economy to be halted. However, he is expected to run into serious conflict with other ministers, who want to see the country reopened.

Health Ministry officials were also pushing back against calls by Finance Minister Israel Katz to resume train operations and arts and culture events, according to the television report.

An expert advising Netanyahu on Tuesday blamed the ministry for failing to prepare for the newest surge.

“The Health Ministry did not learn its lessons from the first wave of infection,” charged Prof. Eli Waxman, who led the panel of experts advising the premier on the pandemic, according to Channel 12. Waxman said the ministry failed to bolster its capabilities or delegate properly in anticipation of the second wave of the pandemic.

“The management of the national crisis has been left without any changes… and it places us all at the risk of another closure,” he said, according to the network.

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