ISRAEL: 90-year-old man dies of coronavirus in Tel Aviv, bringing death toll to 33

Healthcare provider estimates 38% of Bnei Brak residents have coronavirus

A 90-year-old man dies of the coronavirus in Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital, the medical center says, bringing the country’s death toll to 33.

The hospital says the man, whose name has not been released, suffered from “many existing conditions” before contracting the disease.

The 90-year-old is the seventh reported coronavirus of the day.
The CEO of one of Israel’s four public healthcare providers estimates that nearly 40 percent of Bnei Brak residents have contracted the coronavirus, a far higher figure than the current number of confirmed cases in the ultra-Orthodox city.

Dr. Ran Saar, who runs the Maccabi healthcare provider, tells the Knesset’s special coronavirus committee that the government must take action in the city to keep residents from infecting one another during the Passover holiday in order to prevent a catastrophe.

“Maccabi treats half of the residents of Bnei Brak, and according to various indicators, some 38% of Bnei Brak residents are sick, which is 75,000 people,” he tells the committee.

Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah, who chairs the committee, later clarifies that Saar was referring specifically to an estimated 75,000 people being sick with the coronavirus.

“I call on all the responsible offices to deploy the police ahead of the Passover holiday. Otherwise the situation will get worse. Bnei Brak is a city with a high elderly population, and we will find ourselves with many, many more dead in Bnei Brak if we do not prepare,” he says.

Shelah says Saar’s dramatic estimation requires immediate action.

“From different healthcare providers, it appears the ultra-Orthodox public is afraid of getting tested before Passover, and the decisions on the matter at the government level are lacking and are influenced by political considerations,” Shelah says.


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