Coronavirus in Israel: Death Toll Hits 21, Over a Million Israelis Unemployed

As the highly contagious coronavirus spreads around the world, Israel and the Palestinians struggle to contain a local outbreak that has virtually halted daily life and led to tens of thousands of people entering quarantine.

■ 5,591 Israelis have so far tested positive for the coronavirus; Twenty-one have died, 97 are in serious condition and 76 are on ventilators. One Israeli tourist died in Italy.

■ In the West Bank, 122 cases have been diagnosed so far. One woman in her 60s died. In Gaza, 12 cases were diagnosed, the first two after returning from Pakistan.

■ Israel's government intensified restrictions on movement, banning public gatherings, including for prayer, and limiting outings to two people from the same household. Guidelines explained

■ Health Minister recommended imposing a closure on the largely ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, which has become a hot spot for the spread of the virus. Director General says 'still no trend reversal' in coronavirus spread in Israel.

■ For information on the Health Ministry's app that tracks contact with confirmed coronavirus patients, click here. For Health Ministry's official website on the corovavirus outbreak, click here.

– Bibi’s impossible victory and Israel’s corona blind spots

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 72


11:31 A.M. Number of unemployed in Israel passes one million

The total number of active job seekers in Israel passed the million mark just before midnight yesterday, and stands at 1,004,316 this morning, official figures show.

This constitutes 24.1 percent of Israel's workforce. 843,945 people registered with Israel's Employment Service in March alone, close to 90 percent of them on unpaid leave.

“We must assume self-employed Israelis are in a similar position, if not worse," commented Rami Graur, director of the Employment Service, saying that, according to their estimates, "at least 125,000 self-employed Israelis have been significantly hit by this crisis.” (Lee Yaron)

11:20 A.M. Palestinian Authority reports 15 people tested positive for coronavirus, all workers in Israeli industrial zone in the West Bank

Members of the group, from Ramallah and Jerusalem, worked in the Atarot industrial area, north of Jerusalem in the West Bank, Palestinian Authority spokesperson Ibrahim Milhem said. (Jack Khoury)  

10:42 A.M. Israeli HMOs to open new coronavirus testing centers in Arab communities

Health maintenance organizations in Israel are slated to open new testing centres in Arab communities, Israel's Health Ministry announced on Wednesday morning.