2020-03-31 03:02:36 57044790 Nature reclaims global cities as people stay home The sight of ibex strolling down the beachfront promenade in Israel's city of Eilat recently shocked the locals; as humans retreat to their homes in wake of pandemic, wildlife steps out of the shadows and returns to the habitats it once ruled AFP https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57044790,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 23:33:21 +03:00 As more and more countries go under coronavirus lockdown and as humans retreat into their homes, wild animals are slipping cover to explore the empty streets of some of our biggest cities. Israelis were captivated by the sight of ibex strolling down the beachfront promenade in Eilat, while wild boar have descended from the hills around Barcelona and sika deer are nosing their way around the deserted metro stations of Nara, Japan. Indian social media has gone wild about footage of a stag scampering through Dehradun, the capital of the northern state of Uttarakhand. Gangs of wild turkeys have been strutting the streets of Oakland, California, while a puma turned up in the center of the Chilean capital Santiago, which is under curfew. "This is the habitat they once had and that we've taken away from them," said Marcelo Giagnoni, the head of Chile's agricultural and livestock service that helped police capture the curious big cat. While sightings of dolphins in Venice's canals turned out to be fanciful, they have been popping up in ports elsewhere in the Mediterranean as emboldened wildlife takes "free rein to wander our cities and towns", said Romain Julliard, head of research at the French Natural History Museum. Julliard told AFP that foxes were at the vanguard of the new urban explorers. "They change their behavior very quickly. When a place becomes quiet, they're straight in there." 'Spring of love' Animals and birds that normally live in urban parks, like sparrows and pigeons are also more likely to venture beyond their usual territories, Julliard said, "freeing space for other animals". While the dawn and dusk choruses have been bringing comfort to many quarantined city dwellers, the museum's acoustics specialist Jerome Sueur said that doesn't mean there are more urban birds than before. It is more that with reduced traffic noise we can hear them better. Some, however, "stop singing when there is noise, so now they are letting themselves go." "Animals arally live in urban parks, like sparrows and pigeons are also more likely to venture beyond their usual territories, Julliard said, "freeing space for other animals".</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277308> </p><p>While the dawn and dusk choruses have been bringing comfort to many quarantined city dwellers, the museum's acoustics specialist Jerome Sueur said that doesn't mean there are more urban birds than before.</p> <p>It is more that with reduced traffic noise we can hear them better. Some, however, "stop singing when there is noise, so now they are letting themselves go."</p> <p>"Animals are shaking off human noise pollution," Sueur said. And the timing could not have been better as they embark on their mating season.</p> <p>With the hunting season suspended in several European countries, this promises to be a spring and possibly a summer of love for the animal kingdom.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277309> </p><p>It is certainly great news for species like the common toad and the spotted salamander. The amorous amphibians are being spared from being "crushed crossing busy roads" in their haste to find a mate, said Jean-Noel Rieffel, of the French biodiversity office (OFB).</p> <p>With few dog walkers to disturb them, baby fawns are also getting an idyllic start to life while birds like Mediterranean gulls who nest along the sandy banks of rivers are being left undisturbed.</p> <p>In the Calanques National Park overlooking the Mediterranean near France's second-largest city of Marseille, wildlife "is reclaiming its natural habitat with surprising speed", said the park's president, Didier Reault.</p> <p>Stuck indoors, with their worlds reduced to a few square meters (yards), confined urbanites have suddenly become avid birdwatchers.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277310> </p><p>British ornithologist David Lindo, who is known as the "Urban Birder", has been tweeting and live streaming birds he spots from the roof of the building in Spain where he has been quarantined.</p> <p>"The sky is a great arena, anything can fly past and, at the very least, it will give you peace. My message is simple: keep looking up," he told his new-found followers.</p> <p>However, there are also downsides to the lockdown for nature.</p> <p>Work to limit invasive species has been all but halted, cautioned Loic Obled of the OFB, as well as that to help endangered species.&nbsp;</p> <p>With walkers and boating banned, "the puffins who used to stay on the islets in the highest protected areas are not gathering on the sea," he said.</p> <h3 class = "pHeader">Birdwatching to stay sane</h3> <p>And it is the same for plants. Wild orchids - which are supposed to be protected - are often picked by walkers when they blossom in late April and May, said Rieffel. This year they will be spared that fate.</p> <p>And in the cities and suburbs, unmowed lawns will be a source of "bounty for bees, bumblebees and butterflies", Julliard added.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277311> </p><p>But for him, the biggest change is the effect this is having on humans. "The most important phenomenon perhaps is our relationship with nature changing - with people locked up in their homes realizing how much they miss nature," he said.</p> <p>And when the lockdown finally ends, Rieffel warned that "people will have a need of nature and there is a risk of too many visitors [to natural parks], which won't be good for the flora and fauna.</p> <p>"The birds which have nested in the yard of an abandoned school or factory will find themselves disturbed, he warned. Nature's respite from man may be rather short-lived.</p> message 57044360 Israeli soldiers to assist police in enforcing coronavirus restrictions None Gilad Cohen, Eli Senyor https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57044360,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 22:20:16 +03:00 The government on Monday approved the request of Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan to send 700 IDF soldiers to help Israel Police enforce government restrictions meant to fight coronavirus. The order set to take effect Tuesday. The soldiers will not be carrying weapons and will be patrolling public spaces along with the local police forces to ensure that the new restrictions are maintained. The number of soldiers will increase as the measures tighten. message 57044320 Moscow goes into lockdown, rest of Russia braces for same None Associated Press https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57044320,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 22:13:20 +03:00 The Russian capital, Moscow, on Monday woke up to a lockdown obliging most of its 13 million residents to stay home, and many other regions of the vast country quickly followed suit to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. A stern-looking President Vladimir Putin warned his envoys in Russia's far-flung regions that they will be personally responsible for the availability of beds, ventilators and other key equipment. "We have managed to win time and slow down an explosive spread of the disease in the previous weeks, and we need to use that time reserve to the full," Putin said. message 57044220 Amid coronavirus, Qatari money arrives in Gaza Distribution of aid to Gazan families continuing despite no officials arriving from Doha this month; Israeli private plane did however make very short trip to Doha on Monday morning, returning almost immediately Itay Blumenthal, Elior Levy https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57044220,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 21:32:29 +03:00 Despite the spread of the coronavirus throughout the region, Qatar is continuing to transfer its monthly financial aid to the Gaza Strip, which has detected nine confirmed cases so far. The latest distribution of the allowance will begin on Tuesday to more than 100,000 Palestinian families in the coastal enclave. Each family will be given $100 in cash out of a total package of $10 million. Hamas, the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, has been forced to change the format of distribution to prevent gatherings that might lead to more people being infected with the coronavirus. The distribution will last for two weeks, with each family receiving a message in advance informing them of the time and place to receive the money. In addition, Hamas has placed markings on the floor of its post offices to ensure that people maintain a two-meter distance between one another. The first to receive the money will be families who have received the allowance less than nine times since the aid began and households with at least five members. It is still unclear how the money reached Gaza, as no Qatari envoy has arrived in Israel this month. The aid normally arrives with Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi or his deputy Khalad Khardan. Both usually land in Israeli, meet with defense officials and then head on to Gaza via the Erez Crossing in the northern Strip. According to the FlightRadar website, a private plane took off Monday morning from Ben-Gurion Airport. As Israeli planes cannot fly directly to Qatar, it made made a brief stop in Larnaca, where it was registered as Cypriot. The plane then took off again and landed in Doha at 11am, where it remained on the ground for just one hour. At 12pm, the plane took off back to Israel, with no stops along the way. The reason for the flight is still unknown. message 57044190 Israeli woman charged with spying for Hezbollah 25-year-old accused of contact with foreign agent, handing information to enemy with intent to harm state security, providing service to terrorist organization; defendant allegedly photographed military assets, Haifa port, hospital Gilad Morag https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57044190,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 21:22:53 +03:00 An Israeli woman has been indicted for allegedly spying for the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorist group. Lod District Court charged the 25-year-old with "contact with a foreign agent, handing information to an enemy with the intent to harm state security and providing a service to a terrorist organization." The indictment said that the woman, who was thought to have lived in the southern city of Be'er Sheva from 2018-2019, contacted Ali, a resident of southern Lebanon, through Facebook. The unnamed woman and Ali were in contact for a relatively short period before he began requesting that she perform various espionage tasks on Hezbollah's behalf. This included taking and sending photographs. She is alleged to have captured numerous images, including "12 photographs of military vehicles traveling on Route 6; photographs of the perimeter fence in the area of Rosh Hanikra [on the Israel-Lebanon border]; the Bahai Gardens in Haifa; the lookout point at Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel compound [in Haifa]; Haifa Port; military vehicles in the Hebron area; and Hatzerim Air Force Base and Air Force Museum." The defendant is also was accused of photographing the Iron Dome Missile Defense system installations near her Be'er Sheva home, the Erez Crossing between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Israel, and Haifa's Rambam Healthcare Campus. She either acquiesced to each request and took the photographs herself or was in contact with a friend who did so. In all cases, the defendant forwarded Ali the images. Ali also requested that the woman attend a lecture given by an Israeli journalist where she asked the speaker whether be believed war between Israel and Hezbollah was likely. He responded in the negative, an answer that she too passed on to Ali. Later, Ali asked of her to photograph a "military base" near Tel Aviv University, which she did not comply with. Seeking to extend her remand until the end of proceedings against her, prosecutors wrote that the defeses, the defendant forwarded Ali the images.</p> <p>Ali also requested that the woman attend a lecture given by an Israeli journalist where she asked the speaker whether be believed war between Israel and Hezbollah was likely.&nbsp;</p> <p>He responded in the negative, an answer that she too passed on to Ali.</p> <p>Later, Ali asked of her to photograph a "military base" near Tel Aviv University, which she did not comply with.&nbsp;</p> <p>Seeking to extend her remand until the end of proceedings against her, prosecutors wrote that the defendant has been charged with multiple and varied serious security crimes.&nbsp;</p> <p>They said that there "was a reasonable basis to fear she will endanger public security" and that in identifying with a "terrorist organization known for its unusual violence and cruelty," she presented a clear and present danger to the State of Israel.</p> <p><br></p> message 57044100 G20 ministers call for global cooperation against coronavirus None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57044100,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:47:23 +03:00 The trade ministers of the G20 nations say in a joint statement that now is the time for the international community to step up cooperation and coordination in face of the global coronavirus pandemic. message 57044050 Israel's coronavirus death toll rises to 16; number of cases up to 4,695 Rise of 348 cases since Monday morning; 79 people in serious condition, with 66 on respirators; 161 have now recovered, including 38-year-old bus driver previously in very serious condition but who has now been allowed home Adir Yanko https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57044050,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:42:26 +03:00 Israel's death toll from the coronavirus rose from 15 to 16 on Monday evening, with 4,695 confirmed cases. The numbers mark a rise of 348 in cases since Monday morning. Of the number of confirmed cases, 79 people are in serious condition, with 66 people on respirators. Another 90 people are in moderate condition and the rest of the cases are showing mild symptoms. Since the start of the outbreak in Israel, 161 people have recovered from the virus and sent home. Among them is a 38-year-old from East Jerusalem, who had been hospitalized in very serious condition in Tiberias and was released Monday. He is believed to have been infected when driving a group of South Korean pilgrims who also had the virus. Hospitals are treating 527 people, 2,107 are being treated at home, and 586 are in hotels dedicated to people confirmed with the disease. There are 1,269 are awaiting a decision regarding their treatment. Health Ministry officials warn of a shortage in ventilators following their estimates that up to 5,000 people will be in need of respiratory assistance as a result of the disease. Many of the seriously ill come from ultra-Orthodox communities, prompting police to announce they will increase enforcement of government's regulations in the affected areas. On Monday, police conducted raids on dozens of synagogues in the ultra-Orthodox quarter of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, arresting three people for violating government directives. message 57043930 Israel's coronavirus death toll rises to 16; number of cases up to 4,695 None Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043930,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:27:40 +03:00 message 57043920 Netanyahu and associates test negative for coronavirus after adviser diagnosis None Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043920,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:26:37 +03:00 message 57043670 'Israeli society won't be the same': Netanyahu unveils stricter coronavirus steps PM says there are communities in the country that 'disrespect the government guidelines'; Netanyahu along with Kahlon, via satellite, also presented NIS 80 billion financial rescue package in an effort to boost ailing economy in wake of COVID-19 crisis Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043670,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:12:10 +03:00 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday unveiled the long-awaited financial rescue package to help boost Israel's economy in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic and announced new stricter measures meant to combat the health crisis. The finance minister who helped unveil the plan, warned the society "won't be the same" until the crisis is over. The plan was announced via a press conference from Prime Minister's Office after him and his inner circle placed themselves in self-isolation pending epidemiological results, after one of his advisers tested positive for COVID-19. The prime minister kicked off the press conference by addressing the criticism leveled the ultra-Orthodox community in the country, members of which appear to defy the government restrictions. "There are particular groups in the country who disrespect the guidelines," he said, adding he ordered security forces to step up enforcement in areas with a high number of violations of the directives. "It’s true that in Israel we’re in a better situation than most other places in the world,” he said, adding he nevertheless wants to see a reduction in the number of new coronavirus cases. “There won’t be gatherings of over two people who are not from the same nuclear family.” Additionally, he announced that prayers will not be allowed in open areas and that religious events should be restricted as much as possible. Netanyahu also called on Israelis not to visit family during the Passover holiday next month. Furthermore, essential business that are still allowed to operate will need to reduce their workforce from the current 30% to 15%. If, however, workplace is spacious enough to allow more than the required 15%, the number of employees can be increased by another 15%. Netanyahu said the government came up with an unprecedent NIS 80 billion rescue package for the next three months, which represents approximately 6% of Israel's GDP. "Half the amount will come in cash from government funds and the onext month.</p> <p>Furthermore, essential business that are still allowed to operate will need to reduce their workforce from the current 30% to 15%. If, however, workplace is spacious enough to allow more than the required 15%, the number of employees can be increased by another 15%.&nbsp;</p> <p>Netanyahu said the government came up with an unprecedent NIS 80 billion rescue package for the next three months, which represents approximately 6% of Israel's GDP. "Half the amount will come in cash from government funds and the other half will be credit, very convenient," he added.</p> <p>Finace Minister Moshe Kahlon also took part in the virtual news conference via a video stream from the Finance Ministry and announced he intends to retire from politics once the new government is formed.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277704> </p><p>“I know that this [plan] will not bring the situation back to what it was - not for business, nor for freelancers, not for employees and unfortunately not the Israeli society,” said Kahlon.&nbsp;</p> <p>“But, this is still the most significant plan that the Israeli economy has ever seen and it will be improved if needed. I have no doubt that if this crisis continues, we will need additional plans … we will not let Israeli economy fail.”</p> <p>Israel has seen a rise of more than 800,000 people registering as unemployed since the restriction on business were first introduced by the government at the start of March. The Employment Service said the new figure puts the country's rate of unemployment at 23.1%. &nbsp;</p> <p>"Within a month, we have jumped from 30,000 unemployed to one million. That's an unimaginable number. Entire industries shut down and hundreds of thousands of households are under financial burden," he said.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277705> </p><p>Kahlon said the plan encompasses “four central spheres” of Israel’s economy. The first one is the health care system that will be provided with NIS 10 billion to fight coronavirus. The second is the NIS 20 billion social security network for employees, self-employed and the elderly.</p> <p>The third is a NIS 32 billion rescue package for small, medium-sized and large businesses and enterprises. The fourth section is a NIS eight billion program to accelerate the growth of the economy.&nbsp;</p> <p>Kahlon said he estimated the economy "would return, albeit gradually" to normal activity after the Passover holiday, which ends mid-April.</p> <p>Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron, who has said the crisis had arrived when Israel's economy was in a strong position, said the stimulus package would reduce uncertainty.</p> <p>The central bank has projected an economic contraction of 2.5% in 2020 as long as the nationwide lockdown eases by the end of April.</p> <p><strong>Reuters contributed to this report</strong></p> <p><br></p> message 57043390 Netanyahu: There are communities in the country that disrespect the guidelines None Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043390,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:46:30 +03:00 message 57043410 Undercover troops come under fire in West Bank; no injuries None Elisha Ben Kimon https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043410,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:46:28 +03:00 A group of undercover Border Police officers have come under fire in the Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank. There were no injuries "at this stage," the Border Police said, adding that one person had been detained. message 57043220 Qatari aid to Gaza to be distributed Tuesday None Elior Levy, Itay Blumenthal https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043220,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:7:12 +03:00 Qatari financial aid to Gaza will be distributed Tuesday amid special measures due to the coronavirus outbreak. Some 100,000 families in Gaza will each receive a stipend of $100 and will be informed of a time and place to collect the money away from crowds. It is unclear how the money will be transferred to the Gaza Strip, as no Qatari envoy has visited the coastal enclave this month, However, an Israeli aircraft took off from Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday and landed in Doha after a short stop in Cyprus. It returned directly to Israel an hour after arriving in the Qatari capital. message 57043190 Italy's epidemic should stabilize soon, but vigilance needed - WHO None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043190,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:6:21 +03:00 Lockdowns and stringent measures in place in Italy for the past two weeks should lead soon to a stabilization in its coronavirus epidemic, but vigilant follow-up will be required, a senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. "We do hope that Italy and Spain are nearly there, but the virus won't go down by itself, it needs to be pushed down through public health efforts,' Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO's top emergencies expert, told a news conference. On Italy, Ryan said: "We should start to see stabilization. The cases we see today really reflect exposures 2 weeks ago." message 57043170 More than 800,000 newly unemployed in March None Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043170,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 18:59:7 +03:00 Israel has seen a rise of more than 800,000 people registering as unemployed since the start of March, the Employment Service said Monday evening. The new figure puts the country's rate of unemployment at 23.1 percent. message 57043140 Fearing Gaza virus spread, Hamas preps for mass quarantines Gaza's rulers set to build 2 massive isolation facilities, hoping to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and overwhelming the broken health system in the Strip, where 2 million people squeezed into an area twice the size of Washington, D.C. Associated Press https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043140,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 18:58:14 +03:00 When Nima Amraa returned to the Gaza Strip from neighboring Egypt earlier this month, she was surprised to learn she was being placed in a makeshift quarantine center set up by the ruling Hamas group. Her initial jitters, however, turned to fear when two fellow travelers in another facility tested positive for coronavirus - the first cases confirmed in Gaza. "Once there were cases of the virus spreading, we started to feel afraid and disappointed," Amraa, a 30-year-old journalist, said by phone from quarantine, where she has spent a week and a half sleeping in a room with five other women and sharing a bathroom. The virus found a way into Gaza, even though the Mediterranean enclave has been largely cut off from the world by an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas militants seized it in 2007. Yet the terrifying possibility of an outbreak in one of the world's most crowded territories - 2 million people squeezed into an area twice the size of Washington, D.C. -does not seem to have registered fully. Many in Gaza seem to accept Hamas' assurances that the threat is contained. In the meantime, Hamas is racing to build two massive quarantine facilities - hoping to prevent the disease from spreading and overwhelming Gaza's already shattered health system. The construction was ordered after photos surfaced from makeshift centers - mostly schools - showing people celebrating birthday parties with visiting relatives, food being delivered by volunteers and groups of people smoking water pipes together. Amraa said it was immediately clear that the school where she was placed was not prepared to house so many people. "I was worried after seeing that we will sleep on mattresses on the floor and we will be six in one room," she explained. "We eat together and there is no isolation." She said she and her roommates take precautions, such as avoiding direct contact and keeping their beds two meters apart from each other, but that might not be enough to keep the virus from spd it was immediately clear that the school where she was placed was not prepared to house so many people.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277164> </p><p>"I was worried after seeing that we will sleep on mattresses on the floor and we will be six in one room," she explained. "We eat together and there is no isolation."</p> <p>She said she and her roommates take precautions, such as avoiding direct contact and keeping their beds two meters apart from each other, but that might not be enough to keep the virus from spreading.</p> <p>Last week, seven Hamas security guards who were in the facility housing the first two cases became infected themselves.</p> <p>"We have been very clear on how the quarantine facilities should look like and offer in terms of facilities and services and support," said Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub, the World Health Organization's director in the Palestinian territories. "But this is obviously easier said than done in Gaza, where there is a substantial shortage in almost everything."</p> <p>Although movement in and out of Gaza has been heavily restricted since 2007, it is not cut off altogether. The first two virus cases were men who had returned from a religious conference in Pakistan, part of a wave of hundreds of returnees who were placed into quarantine.</p> <p>No one knows how much farther the virus has spread. Only 20% of the roughly 1,700 people in quarantine have been tested.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277165> </p><p>Gaza's people live mainly in densely populated cities and refugee camps. The health care system is in shambles - a result of the blockade, three wars between Hamas and Israel and chronic under-funding due to infighting between Hamas and the rival Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.</p> <p>Gaza has only 60 breathing machines - and all but 15 are already in use, according to the WHO. The agency has been assisting local health officials and has been working with Israeli authorities, who have no direct contact with Hamas, to import desperately needed equipment and supplies from international donors.</p> <p>Most people infected by the virus experience only mild symptoms, such as fever and cough, and recover within a few weeks, but the virus can cause severe illness and death, particularly in older patients or those with underlying health problems.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277166> </p><p>High rates of obesity, smoking and stress-related disorders appear to make Gaza's population especially vulnerable.</p> <p>Hamas has sought to beef up its quarantine efforts in recent days, opening 18 additional facilities in clinics and hotels and declaring them off-limits. It has also banned weekly street markets and shut down wedding halls, cafes and mosques and extended quarantine period by a week.</p> <p>After seeing images of the makeshift facilities, Hamas' leader in Gaza, Yahyah Sinwar, ordered the group's military wing to build two new quarantine centers.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277167> </p><p>Situated on the territory's northern and southern borders, they will be able to hold 1,000 people. The group expects them to be ready within a week.</p> <p>The public seems to have been calmed by Health Ministry claims that all virus patients are held in quarantine centers. Despite the shutdown orders, people still walk the streets and congregate around small coffee kiosks and noodle shops.</p> <p>That could change if cases begin to spread.</p> <p>Last Friday, the crew for a Turkish TV station caused a panic after entering the field hospital where the nine infected people are being treated. The crew subsequently left the facility and broadcast a report the next day. Hamas quickly put the crew members into quarantine and suspended the head of its media office for allowing them access to the facility.</p> <p>Elsewhere, people still held wedding parties in their homes after wedding halls closed.</p> <p>Dr. Yahia Abed, an epidemiologist, said the public's apparent lack of commitment to safety precautions is worrisome and that anyone who might have been exposed to the virus must go into full and enforceable isolation.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277168> </p><p>"If, God forbid, people hid the fact that they had contact with the infected, this will be very dangerous for an area like Gaza. The epidemic will spread," said Abed, a public health professor at Al-Quds university near Jerusalem.</p> <p>One factor in the small number of cases so far could be the lack of testing.</p> <p>COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian issues, said it has coordinated the delivery of hundreds of coronavirus testing kits by the World Health Organization, as well as protective equipment, medicine, and disinfectant.</p> <p>Israel, along with most Western nations, considers Hamas a terrorist group, but it likely fears the fallout from a catastrophic outbreak would spill over the frontier.</p> <p>Qatar, which provides extensive humanitarian aid to Gaza, has also stepped in, pledging $150 million in aid and providing furniture, clothes and electrical appliances for the quarantine centers.</p> <p>The Gaza Health Ministry says it urgently needs more than $20 million to stave off the collapse of the health system if there is a major outbreak.</p> <p>Rockenschaub said there's still time to improve quarantine procedures in Gaza.</p> <p>"The issue is to move quickly and mobilize support to get them on the way to meet the right international standards," he said.</p> message 57043000 Netanyahu to unveil coronavirus financial rescue package at 7pm None Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57043000,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 18:39:53 +03:00 message 57042850 Some ultra-Orthodox Israelis chafe at coronavirus restrictions Police forces begin patrolling Haredi neighborhoods, prone to contagion because they're tend to be poor and congested, after a series of incidents that defied national guidelines resulted in a spike of CIVUD-19 infections in the religious community Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042850,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 18:27:27 +03:00 Israeli police have used a drone, helicopter and stun grenades in recent days to prevent people gathering in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem in defiance of Health Ministry measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. On Monday, police, some in riot gear and surgical masks, encountered occasional resistance and verbal abuse while enforcing the measures in a part of the city whose residents have long chafed against the state. "Nazis!" shouted a group of boys, as police pulled men off the narrow streets of Mea Shearim. As well as broadcasting the message "Stay Home" from the helicopter and drone, police have issued offenders with fines. Israeli officials describe the ultra-Orthodox as especially prone to contagion because their districts tend to be poor and congested, and in normal times they are accustomed to holding thrice-daily prayers with often large congregations. Some of their rabbis have also cast doubt on the degree of coronavirus risk. Many ultra-Orthodox reject the authority of the Israeli state, whose Jewish majority is mostly secular. Israel's 21 percent Arab minority are another sensitive community, where officials say testing for the virus has been lagging. "There are three 'Corona Countries' - the ultra-Orthodox sector, the Arab sector and the rest of the State of Israel," Defense Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters on Sunday. The Mea Shearim patrols represented an escalation in security enforcement. On Saturday, a funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox town. Reprimanded by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan for allowing what he deemed a "threat to life" at the funeral, police issued a statement vowing to "draw lessons to prevent similar situations recurring". Public gatherings are currently limited to up to 10 people, people must keep two meters apart and the public has been urged to stay at home unless they need to buy food, get medical attention, or go to work deemed ular.</p> <p>Israel's 21 percent Arab minority are another sensitive community, where officials say testing for the virus has been lagging.</p> <p>"There are three 'Corona Countries' - the ultra-Orthodox sector, the Arab sector and the rest of the State of Israel," Defense Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters on Sunday.</p> <p>The Mea Shearim patrols represented an escalation in security enforcement. On Saturday, a funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox town.</p> {"type":"image","data":{"imageId":"ArticleImageData.B1lqjTYJwU","url":"https://besttv232-ynet-images1-prod.cdn.it.best-tv.com/picserver5/crop_images/2020/03/30/ry1uvt1v8/ry1uvt1v8_0_0_5397_3716_large.jpg","caption":"Israeli security forces arrest an Ultra Orthodox Jewish man as they close a synagogue in the Mea Shearim Ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood in Jerusalem ","credit":"Photo: AFP"}}<p>Reprimanded by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan for allowing what he deemed a "threat to life" at the funeral, police issued a statement vowing to "draw lessons to prevent similar situations recurring".</p> <p>Public gatherings are currently limited to up to 10 people, people must keep two meters apart and the public has been urged to stay at home unless they need to buy food, get medical attention, or go to work deemed crucial by the state.</p> <p>Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, ultra-Orthodox head of ZAKA, a volunteer emergency-medicine group, told Israel's Army Radio that most ultra-Orthodox Jews did follow Health Ministry directives and only a small group defied them, possibly for political reasons.</p> <p>"Everything they are doing has no value when they constitute a 'ticking bomb' because of whom people will get infected," he said of those not following the government's guidelines.</p> {"type":"image","data":{"imageId":"ArticleImageData.BkgF6aFJw8","url":"https://besttv232-ynet-images1-prod.cdn.it.best-tv.com/picserver5/crop_images/2020/03/30/HydwwYJw8/HydwwYJw8_0_0_3600_2496_large.j message 57042800 Coronavirus death toll in Italy's Lombardy rises by around 458 in a day None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042800,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 18:19:12 +03:00 The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in the northern region of Lombardy, the epicenter of Italy's contagion, has risen by around 458 in a day to some 6,818, a source familiar with the data said on Monday. The daily deaths were up from Sunday's tally of 416. The number of cases in the region, which includes the country's financial capital Milan, increased by some 1,154 to around 42,161, the source said. The increase in cases was much smaller than the 1,592 new cases registered on Sunday and the 2,117 new cases on Saturday.The nationwide tallies will be released at around 6.00 p.m. (1600 GMT). On Sunday, the national death toll stood at 10,779, the highest in the world. message 57042780 Saudi king offers to pay for coronavirus patients' treatment None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042780,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 18:17:41 +03:00 Saudi Arabia will finance treatment for anyone infected with the coronavirus in the country, the health minister said on Monday, while the agriculture ministry took steps to boost wheat and livestock supplies amid global fears of a food shortage. The kingdom has registered eight deaths among 1,453 infections, the highest among the six Gulf Arab states. message 57042730 Israel's first serious coronavirus patient recovers, released from hospital None Ahiye Raved https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042730,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 18:1:42 +03:00 A tour bus driver who contracted coronavirus while transporting a group of 21 Greek pilgrims in Jerusalem at the beginning of the month, was released from the hospital on Monday after recovering from the illness. The 38-year-old East Jerusalem resident was Israel's first coronavirus patient hospitalized in a serious condition. message 57042690 Dubai Expo 2020 recommends postponing a year amid virus None Associated Press https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042690,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 17:52:10 +03:00 Dubai's Expo 2020 should be postponed to next year over the new coronavirus pandemic, local organizers recommended Monday, pushing back a world's fair that the sheikhdom has bet billions of dollars on to rejuvenate its troubled economy. The ultimate decision over the event will be made by Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions, which had awarded the fair to this skyscraper-studded city in 2014. That helped boost Dubai's crucial real-estate market and had officials hoping for more tourists in this city-state that is home to the world's busiest airport for international travel. Now, the pandemic has grounded flights by Dubai's long-haul carrier Emirates, jeopardized global tourism and caused further panic in a real-estate market already down by a third since the 2014 announcement. message 57042670 Yamina to Netanyahu: Set red lines on concessions to Gantz None Moran Azulay https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042670,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 17:44:53 +03:00 The heads of the right-wing Yamina party have criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the concessions he is offering to Benny Gantz in order to form a unity government. Current defense minister Naftali Bennett and former justice minister Ayelet Shaked urged Netanyahu to set red lines for his right-wing bloc during negotiations with Gantz' Blue & White party. message 57042600 Israel set to ask public to wear surgical masks when going outside Ynet learns the Health Ministry mulls announcing a U-turn on its previous position that masks yield little benefit in protecting from pathogen, saying the gear offers partial protection as proven by Asian countries with low mortality rates from COVID-19 Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042600,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 17:35:15 +03:00 Health officials set to ask all Israelis to wear surgical masks when leaving their homes in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. The Health Ministry on Monday said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country currently stands at 4,347 with at least 80 people remaining in a serious condition. Ynet has learned there have been numerous discussions between officials in the Health Ministry about making the protective face masks obligatory when going outside. The move, if implemented, would be in stark contrast to health authorities' previous statements that surgical masks yield very little benefit when it comes to protecting from the spread of pathogen. The Health Ministry has always maintained the masks are meant to protect the public from an individual who's sick and whose saliva particles, from coughing or sneezing, would be constrained by the mask and would not spread in the air. Now, however, many senior medical officials believe the masks provide partial protection from the virus. In addition, the officials say many of the infected do not show any symptoms and are not aware they are carrying the virus. Making the masks mandatory, therefor, minimizes the possibility that an unaware COVID-19 carrier would cough or sneeze into the air. Furthermore, Asian countries with relatively low fatality rates - from both COVID-19 and previous coronavirus epidemics - attributed a great share of their success in preventing further infections to the masks. message 57042510 Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum during coronavirus shutdown None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042510,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 17:15:42 +03:00 A Van Gogh painting was stolen from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands overnight, the museum said Monday. The museum has been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The painting "Lentetuin", or "Spring Garden," an 1884 painting showing the spring garden of the rectory at Neunen, had been on loan from the Groninger Museum. "We are angry, shocked and sad," Singer general director Evert van Os told a news conference broadcast. message 57042350 Jordanian man detained after crossing border into Israel None Ahiya Raved https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042350,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:39:51 +03:00 A Jordanian man has been detained after crossing the border into Israel. Security forces arrested the man north of the Jordan Valley. He was spotted by a resident of Moshav Beit Yosef, who followed him until IDF troops and police arrived. The security forces are working to return the man to his own country. The police said the Beit Yosef resident must now enter quarantine after coming into contact with the man. message 57042340 Health Ministry to require civilians to wear face masks out of home None Sarit Rosenblum https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042340,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:31:1 +03:00 The Health Ministry discussed on Monday the possibility of requiring anyone leaving their home to wear a protective face mask to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Due to dearth in supplies of protective masks, the ministry is expected to recommend civilians cover their nose and mouth using makeshift masks made of cloth. So far, the ministry's policy determined using masks yielded no benefit, but Asian countries with relatively low fatality rates attributed a great share of their success in preventing further infections to the masks. message 57042270 Knesset urges MKs to 'act acccording to guidlines' after PM aide contracts virus None Moran Azulay https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042270,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:18:13 +03:00 The Knesset security officer on Monday urged lawmakers, who were in the same room as an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus, "to follow Health Ministry guidelines." The epidemiological report shows that the aide was at the Jerusalem parliament on March 16, March 23, and March 26. Lawmakers and Knesset staff who were in the aide's vicinity during these times received a message urging them to act according to Health Ministry guidelines regarding exposure to the virus. message 57042200 Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug. 8 in 2021 None Associated Press https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042200,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:2:45 +03:00 The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year's games. Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 -almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year. "The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games," Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. "This will only accelerate our progress." message 57042050 Haredi extremists hurl insults, stones at police enforcing coronavirus rules While most of Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox community is slowly implementing measures to halt the spread of the outbreak, some are refusing to listen to their rabbis and react with hostility to any attempt to crack down on their movements Gilad Cohen https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57042050,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:29:7 +03:00 Police officers trying to enforce measures to counter coronavirus in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem have come under attack from local residents hurling stones and insults. Most of the insular community are beginning to obey the ban on mass gatherings and non-essential trips out of the home, but some members of an extreme ultra-Orthodox sect clashed with police Monday as they moved to close down the dozens of synagogues that remained open in the capital. The clashes erupted when members of the community refused to identify themselves to police who were handing out fines for violating the guidelines. Police arrested at least 10 people and handed out 25 fines of NIS 5,000 and five for NIS 500. Officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd, who called them "Nazis" and hurled stones. A Magen David Adom paramedic also came under attack and was wounded by stones hurled at him as he was preparing to enter a home in Jerusalem to administer a test for the coronavirus. The ultra-Orthodox health minister Yaakov Litzman condemned what he said was the act of a fringe group against someone "who is protecting lives at great risk to his own." Roadblocks have been set up in and around the Haredi neighborhood of Mea Shearim, with those found to be in violation of restrictions receiving fines. Images of the Haredi community routinely violating increasingly stringent regulations sparked anger in other sectors who have been abiding by the directives in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. Since the Jerusalem police force has increased its enforcement of the regulations in the ultra-Orthodox area, they have reported a decline in violations. Even so, extreme factions in the community persist in their opposition. On Sunday, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, considered a major figure of authority in the Haredi world, called on his flock to adhere to directives and remain at home. Kanievsky also ruled synagogues should remain closed to prevent further spread of coronavirus in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the Jerusalem police force has increased its enforcement of the regulations in the ultra-Orthodox area, they have reported a decline in violations. Even so, extreme factions in the community persist in their opposition.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277894> </p><p>On Sunday, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, considered a major figure of authority in the Haredi world, called on his flock to adhere to directives and remain at home. Kanievsky also ruled synagogues should remain closed to prevent further spread of coronavirus among the ultra-Orthodox.</p> <p>Two weeks ago he had opposed government guidelines insisting that the study of the Torah must not be interrupted and that religious seminaries must remain open.</p> <p>Alarming numbers of infections among ultra-Orthodox communities around the world and in Israel might be behind the rabbi's decision to rule that the sanctity of life must be observed.</p> <p>Using the strongest possible terms, Kanievsky ruled that each Jew should pray at home in private and not congregate even in groups of 10 as permitted by the Health Ministry guidelines.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6277895> </p><p>His authority is respected by many ultra-Orthodox Jews but not by the extreme factions that are continuing to violate directives.</p> <p>On Saturday, hundreds participated in a funeral procession for a local rabbi while police failed to disperse the mourners, causing much anger among neighbors who fear for their lives.&nbsp;</p> <p>Among Israel's coronavirus cases, 29% were infected in synagogues or at a religious event.</p> <p>Authorities are considering imposing closures on the areas most affected by the virus in order to prevent further spread and contamination.</p> <p><br></p> message 57041830 First drive-in testing site in predominately Arab areas established None Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041830,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:46:5 +03:00 The first drive-in testing site for coronavirus opened Monday for the Arab speaking community. Health Minister Yaakov Litzmam instructed Magen David Adom to increase testing in Arab communities in coordination with MK Ahmad Tibi, the ministry announced. message 57041660 PM provisionally self-isolates after aide's coronavirus diagnosis Quarantine for premier and inner circle could end if epidemiological study shows Rivka Paluch, Netanyahu's adviser on ultra-Orthodox affairs, did not have contact with prime minister in past two weeks; Gantz may also be subjected to self-isolation Itamar Eichner https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041660,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:42:40 +03:00 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his inner circle are placing themselves in self-isolation pending epidemiological results after one of his advisers tested positive for the coronavirus, the Prime Minister's Office said Monday. Netanyahu made the decision after his adviser on ultra-Orthodox affairs, Rivka Paluch, tested positive for the virus. He was to undergo another coronavirus test later in the day, two weeks after was previously tested. The PMO said that Netanyahu had not been in the same room as Paluch in the previous two weeks, contrary to reports in the Hebrew-language media. "Health officials are currently conducting a full epidemiological report into a worker in the prime minister's vicinity and will subsequently issue guidelines," the PMO said in a statement. "A preliminary examination shows the two have not been in the same room for the past two weeks," the PMO said before the new move was announced, adding that, "The epidemiological report is ongoing." "We would like to stress that the prime minister and those around him strictly adhere to Health Minister regulations, in conjunction with his personal physician, and [he] holds most of his conferences via video. The prime minister and his surroundings will keep obeying Health Ministry guidelines." Paluch tested positive for coronavirus after her husband was admitted to the hospital with the pathogen. She denies having had any close contact with Netanyahu during a recent meeting at the Knesset and doubts she transmitted the disease to anyone. Blue & White party leader Benny Gantz may also be subject to self-isolation, according to The Jerusalem Post, having met with Netanyahu for late-night coalition talks at the weekend. message 57041770 PM and staff to self quarantine pending epidemiological investigation after aid confirmed with coronavirus None Itamar Eichner https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041770,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:39:48 +03:00 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close staff will self-quarantine on Monday, while an epidemiological investigation continues into his possible exposure to the coronavirus. An aid to the prime minister tested positive for the virus after her husband became ill. The Health Ministry and Netanyahu's personal physician will determine the duration of his quarantine based on the outcome of their inquiry. message 57041600 West Bank coronavirus count rises to 106 None Elior Levy https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041600,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:9:20 +03:00 The number of confirmed coronavirus patients in the West Bank has risen to 106, officials say. The new number marks a rise of six cases in the past 24 hours. There has been no change in the number of confirmed cases in the Gaza Strip, which is currently reported to be nine. message 57041580 Burned body found in Ramle None Eli Sinyor https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041580,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:6:30 +03:00 The burned body of a man has been found on a dirt road near a central street in Ramle. Police are investigating. message 57041550 Blue & White to Likud: We want health portfolio over defense None Yuval Karni https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041550,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:4:49 +03:00 Blue & White has told Likud that it wants the Health Ministry instead of the Defense Ministry as part of a unity government agreement. It would also be willing to accept the Knesset speaker's position instead, the party said. message 57041530 Russia weighs nationwide coronavirus lockdown after Moscow acts None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041530,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 14:1:2 +03:00 Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked regional governors to consider introducing a partial lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus after Russia on Monday recorded its biggest one-day rise in cases for the sixth day in a row. Russia's official nationwide tally of coronavirus cases rose by 302 on Monday, taking the total to 1,836. Nine people across Russia have died, the authorities say. Authorities in Moscow have ordered residents to stay at home from Monday, their toughest move yet to slow the spread of the virus after the number of official cases in the Russian capital passed the 1,000 mark. Mishustin said he thought the measures now needed to be rolled out nationwide. message 57041520 Air strikes hit Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sanaa -witnesses None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041520,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 13:59:49 +03:00 The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen carried out several airstrikes on Monday on the capital Sanaa, where bombings have been rare in recent months thanks to U.N.-backed de-escalation efforts, witnesses said. The strikes on Sanaa came after Saudi Arabia intercepted two ballistic missiles the Houthis said they had launched on Saturday towards Riyadh and southern parts of Saudi near the Yemeni border. message 57041510 Nearly 12,300 Spanish health workers have coronavirus None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041510,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 13:58:57 +03:00 Some 12,298 health workers have tested positive for coronavirus in Spain, deputy health emergency chief Maria Jose Sierra said at a news conference on Monday. That is equivalent to around 14% of the country's 85,195 confirmed cases, roughly the same proportion as last week. message 57041490 Blue & White demanding Health Ministry position as they pass on Foreign Ministry in coalition talks None Yuval Karni https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041490,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 13:56:27 +03:00 The Blue & White party negotiating team in talks with Likud ahead of an agreement to form a coalition party insists on controlling the Health Ministry or the position of Knesset Speaker as they agree to give up the Foreign Ministry portfolio. message 57040520 Israel Health Ministry: 4,347 confirmed coronavirus cases The number of patients in need of ventilators has seen a 46% increase adding to concerns that up to 5,000 people will be requiring respiratory support while the number of existing ventilators cannot support the expected need Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57040520,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 13:44:0 +03:00 The Health Ministry on Monday released the latest tally of confirmed coronavirus cases that have now reached 4,347. There are 80 people are described to be in a serious condition of which 69 require the help of ventilators. Hospitals are treating 543 people, 2,107 are being treated at home, and 586 are in hotels dedicated to people confirmed with the disease. There are 962 are awaiting a decision regarding their treatment and 139 people have so far recovered and 15 people have died as a result of the virus. Health Ministry officials warn of a shortage in ventilators following their estimates that up to 5,000 people will be in need of respiratory assistance as a result of the disease. There has been a 46% increase in severe cases needing ventilators in the past 24 hours. Many of the seriously ill come from ultra-Orthodox communities, prompting police to announce they will increase enforcement of government's regulations in the affected areas. On Monday police conducted raids on dozens of Synagogues in the ultra-Orthodox quarter of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, arresting three people for violating government directives. message 57041390 Anger over distribution of ventilators in Israel's hospitals With data showing number of life-saving units in center far exceeds that of periphery, the Forum for the Promotion of Health in the Galilee warns those who live in the north 'may pay for this with their lives' Adir Yanko https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041390,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 13:42:17 +03:00 Amid fears that the number of serious coronavirus patients needing respiratory assistance may exceed the number of available ventilators, Israel is facing complaints of imbalanced distribution of this life-saving equipment. According to information obtained by Ynet on Monday, almost half of these life-saving ventilators - 1,119 units - have been distributed in the center of the country. The Forum for the Promotion of Health in the Galilee launched a strong attack on the Health Ministry following the release of the numbers, highlighting the significant difference in the number of respirators allocated to the center of the country and those sent to the periphery. "All investments in the health infrastructure of the State of Israel were first and foremost directed to the center of the country," the forum said. "Only after intense civil struggles did the government agree to develop services in the north as well. The residents of the north pay health taxes like everyone else but receive less, and may pay for this with their lives." Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov said last week that Israel's healthcare system has only 2,864 available ventilators, including some owned by the military. Of that number, there are 1,119 units in central Israel, including at Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer, which has 250 ventilators - the most for any one site. Other central Israel hospitals with more than 100 ventilators apiece are Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva with 174; Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv with 150; Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba with 115 and Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot with 113. Wolfson Hospital in Holon and Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center in Tzrifin did not provide any information on their number of respirators. There are at least 155 ventilators available in Jerusalem: 100 at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and 55 at Hadassah Medical Center, Ein Kerem. Hadassah Medical Center, Mount Scopus did not provide any information on the number oetah Tikva with 174; Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv with 150; Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba with 115 and Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot with 113.</p> <p>Wolfson Hospital in Holon and Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center in Tzrifin did not provide any information on their number of respirators.</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6275724> </p><p>There are at least 155 ventilators available in Jerusalem: 100 at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and 55 at Hadassah Medical Center, Ein Kerem. Hadassah Medical Center, Mount Scopus did not provide any information on the number of respirators it owns.</p> <p>Northern Israel has 443 ventilators, including 140 at Haifa's Rambam Health Care Campus and Carmel Medical Center and 100 at HaEmek Medical Center in Afula. Galilee Medical Center, which provides healthcare services for more than 60,000 residents of Nahariya, has only 30 ventilators.</p> <p>In Tiberias, which has a population of some 45,000, Poriya Hospital reported it had 20 ventilators, but this only refers to the number of respirators available to the coronavirus ward and the entire medical center.&nbsp;</p> <p>Southern Israel has at least 361 ventilators, with Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon having 114 ventilators for more than 140,000 people in the city and adjacent localities, while Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital has only 56 ventilators to serve over 220,00 people.</p> <p>Soroka University Medical Center in Be'er Sheva has only 191 ventilators to serve more than 200,000 residents and thousands more in nearby unrecognized Bedouin villages.</p> <p>Yoseftal Medical Center in Eilat did not provide any information on the number of respirators it owns. &nbsp;</p> <P>&nbsp; <IMG id=captionImageElement6275725> </p><p>Clalit Health Services, one of Israel's four state-mandated health organizations, reported that it has about 1,000 ventilators in its stock, 100 of which will be delivered to the provider's hospitals in the coming days.</p> <p>The Health Ministry also said Sunday that 27 more ventilators arrived in Israel.&nbsp;</p> <p>The head of Medical Administration at the Health Ministry, <a href="https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57037990,00.html" class="bluelink" style="">Dr. Vered Ezra, expressed a deep concern </a>that a potential spike in the number of patients who were in serious condition and required artificial respiratory assistance would significantly exceed the number of available ventilators, with one bleak scenario predicting over 5,000 such patients filling Israeli hospitals within weeks.</p> <p>The number of coronavirus patients in Israel with serious symptoms jumped on Monday to 4,347, with 80 in serious condition and 69 needing ventilators.</p> <p>Fifteen Israelis have passed away due to complications related to COVID-19 and 134 have recovered.</p> <p>The major concern in the healthcare system at the moment is a scenario similar to that in Italy and Spain, where the number of patients in serious condition needing respiratory assistance significantly exceeded the number of respirators available there.</p> <p><br></p> message 57041090 Virus patient dies, hospital cites underlying health condition as cause of death None Adir Yanko https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041090,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:46:29 +03:00 A 58-year-old man who was diagnosed with coronavirus passed away on Monday At Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center near Tel Aviv. The hospital said the cause of death was an underlying health condition the man suffered from, rather than the virus itself. message 57041010 72-year-old dies of wounds from NY Hanukkah attack None Associated Press https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57041010,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:20:56 +03:00 A man who was among the five people stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration north of New York City has died three months after the attack, according to an Orthodox Jewish organization and community liaison with a local police department. Josef Neumann, 72, died Sunday night, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council said in a tweet. The funeral for Neumann, a father of seven and great-grandfather, will be held Monday. No additional details were provided. message 57040970 UK epidemic is slowing and antibody test could be ready in days, top epidemiologist says None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57040970,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:10:28 +03:00 The coronavirus epidemic in the United Kingdom is showing signs of slowing and antibody tests could be ready in days, Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, said on Monday. "We think the epidemic is just about slowing in the UK right now," Ferguson told BBC radio. He said a third or even 40% of people do not get any symptoms. He said perhaps 2% to 3% of the United Kingdom's population had been infected. But Junio Health Minister Helen Whately said she could not say when the antibody tests would arrive telling BBC radio: "I am not going to confirm when that's going to arrive." message 57040920 China's reports African swine fever case in piglets transported to Inner Mongolia None Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57040920,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:5:54 +03:00 China said on Monday a new case of African swine fever was found in piglets illegally transported to the Inner Mongolia region. The outbreak, detected in a herd of 200 piglets on a farm in Ordos city in the region, has killed 92 of the animals. China has reported several new cases of the deadly African swine fever disease this month. message 57040930 Liberman lambastes Gantz for joining Netanyahu-led unity government None Alexandra Lukash https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57040930,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:4:37 +03:00 Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman on Monday slammed Blue & White Chairman Benny Gantz on his decision to join a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Politically speaking, Gantz is a rookie and can talk about him in the past tense, politically speaking, he's already deceased," Liberman said. "This whole move was led by [Blue & White co-leader] Gabi Ashkenazi, who sees nothing but the Defense Ministry, and will one day bail on Gantz." message 57040870 No Netanyahu quarantine despite aide having coronavirus None Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57040870,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:0:37 +03:00 The Prime Minister's Office says Benjamin Netanyahu will not be required to go into quarantine despite his aide having the coronavirus, since he has not been in close contact with her in the last two weeks. message 57040430 Israel coronavirus cases up to 4,347 confirmed cases - Health Ministry None Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57040430,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 10:2:11 +03:00 The Health Ministry on Monday released the latest tally of confirmed coronavirus cases which on 4,347. 80 people are described to be in a serious condition of which 69 require the help of ventilators. so far 15 people have died as a result of the virus. message 57040260 Police raid ultra-Orthodox synagogues None Gilad Cohen https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-57040260,00.html Mon, 30 Mar 2020 9:43:52 +03:00 Jerusalem Police raided dozens of Synagogues of the Satmar ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem after worshipers violated coronavirus guidelines. Three people were detained. message