Second Israeli Fatality Amid Warnings from Netanyahu that Coronavirus Could Infect One Million

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers an speech at his Jerusalem office on March 14, 2020, regarding the new measures that will be taken to fight the Corona virus in Israel. - Netanyahu said Israel would shut down eateries, shopping centres and gyms in a bid to halt the spread …
GALI TIBBON/AFP via Getty

TEL AVIV – Coronavirus claimed its second fatality in Israel on Tuesday, a 67-year-old woman with a serious preexisting medical condition, Wolfson Medical Center in Holon announced.

“Our intensive care team fought for her life with great dedication, but her condition deteriorated and despite this care she passed away,” the hospital said in a statement.

One million Israelis could contract the virus and ten thousand could die within a month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned officials on Monday during a seven-hour emergency phone meeting.

“We could reach a million infected within a month,” Netanyahu told ministers according to a report on Israel’s Channel 12. “There could also be 10,000 dead Israelis.”

He also said he would increase restrictions in an effort to flatten the virus’ curve.

Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov warned ministers during the meeting that Israel could find itself in the same “nightmare scenario” that Italy is in unless extreme measures are put in place.

Within a week, the number of patients diagnosed with the virus who would need ventilators are likely to reach in the hundreds and possibly thousands, he said.

He added all unessential services must be shut down immediately and military rations should be handed out to Israelis.

It “may sound extreme, I think we even need to close some of the grocery stores and maybe hand out prepared meals to some parts of the public,” he said in an interview with Ynet news site.

A total of 1,656 Israelis have been diagnosed with the virus, 30 are in critical condition.

Israel’s first coronavirus fatality was identified as Aryeh Even, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who died on Saturday at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

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