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24 Mar 2020 | 05:24 AM UTC

Israel/Palestinian Terr.: Government confirms 1656 COVID-19 cases March 23 /update 12

Israeli government confirms 1656 COVID-19 cases as of March 23; take precautions against virus

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ISR

Event

On Monday, March 23, the Israeli government confirmed 1656 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country, including one fatality and 49 recoveries. Thirty-one patients are in serious condition. Previously, authorities shut down all schools, public markets, and event halls in the territory to combat the spread of the virus. Only patients requiring urgent medical treatment outside Gaza are allowed to cross into Egypt or Israel.

A lockdown is in place since Sunday, March 22, in the West Bank for a total of two weeks.

There are two COVID-19 cases in the Gaza strip and 57 in the West Bank, 17 of which have recovered. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.