Israel: Virus cases top 15,000, deaths near 200

By Mustafa Deveci

JERUSALEM (AA) – The number of coronavirus cases in Israel passed 15,000 and the death toll moved close to 200 on Saturday.

The country’s Health Ministry said the death toll rose to 198 after four more COVID-19 patients died over the past 24 hours.

It said 345 new cases raised the overall count to 15,148, with about 130 patients in critical condition.

The number of patients who have recovered in Israel is 6,159, according to the ministry.

The government has taken several measures to stem the virus' spread, including closing all educational institutions and banning gatherings of more than 10 people in open or closed public areas.

All businesses except supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and banks have been closed since March 15.

Tel Aviv also banned the entry of foreign citizens into the country except those with Israeli residency.

The novel coronavirus has spread to 185 countries and regions since emerging in China last December, with the US and Europe now the hardest-hit areas in the world.

More than 2.82 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll near 200,000 and recoveries close to 800,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.

* Writing by Havva Kara Aydin