This article was originally published by The Times of Israel
on April 9, 2020
The patients, the eldest of whom is 97, return to the city’s Freemasons Nursing Home; three other residents remain hospitalized, with mild symptoms
Three elderly women aged over 90 recovered from the coronavirus Thursday and were released from the Galilee Medical Center in the northern town of Nahariya.
The three, aged 91, 96 and 97, returned to Nahariya’s Freemasons Nursing Home, which has seen several virus cases. Three other residents of the facility, aged 75, 85 and 93, remain hospitalized, but all are suffering only mild symptoms, the hospital said.
Also Thursday, the Health Ministry said it had started a program of testing for elder care facilities with residents or staff members diagnosed with coronavirus, as the death toll continued to rise in nursing homes. Channel 12 news reported that 23 of 79 deaths in the country as of Thursday were from elder care facilities — almost 30 percent of deaths.
The Magen David Adom emergency service will carry out some 3,000 tests a day in the coming days as part of the program, according to the announcement.
The deaths of six more people were announced Thursday, at least two of whom lived in assisted living centers for the elderly. One of the fatalities was an 84-year-old man who lived at the Mishan assisted living facility in the southern city of Beersheba, raising the number of people who died of the coronavirus there to 11. In addition, an 86-year-old man who lived at the Yokra elder care home in the town of Yavne’el died at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in the northern city of Tiberias, the fourth death from that facility. There were eight new deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, including two residents of Mishan and another from Yokra. The Nofim Tower assisted living center in Jerusalem has also been hard hit by the virus outbreak, with four fatalities from the facility. In addition there were three deaths at the Bulgarian home in Rishon Lezion. The novel coronavirus has been spreading quickly in nursing homes around the country, raising intense concern for the safety of elderly residents.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister’s Office asked the Defense Ministry and Home Front Command to assist the Health Ministry with operational aspects of nursing homes.
The ministry said Thursday there have been 9,755 people diagnosed with the virus, an increase of 351 in the past 24 hours. There were 165 people in serious condition, 119 of whom are on ventilators. Another 171 were in moderate condition, with the rest having mild symptoms.So far, 864 Israelis have recovered from the virus. Almost all of those who have died from COVID-19 in Israel have been elderly and suffered from preexisting conditions, according to hospital officials.