Israel reports 874 new COVID-19 cases, 302,770 in total

2020-10-17 22:35:34 GMT2020-10-18 06:35:34(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The total number of COVID-19 cases in Israel rose to 302,770 on Saturday after the addition of 874 new cases, marking a fifth consecutive day of decrease in the number of daily new cases, Israel's Ministry of Health said.

The death toll rose to 2,190, with 49 new fatalities, while the number of patients in serious condition decreased from 714 to 690, out of 1,210 patients currently hospitalized.

The total number of recoveries reached 265,445, with 2,942 new ones, while active cases dropped to 35,130, the lowest figure since Sept. 18.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis in a press conference on Saturday evening that "We will exit carefully, according to a framework that has been devised by health officials," as Israel's lockdown exit strategy will go into effect on Sunday.

In the first phase of Israel's lockdown exit strategy, a restriction limiting residents to a 1,000-meter radius of their homes will be lifted. Kindergartens and businesses that do not attend clients will be reopened, while restaurants will be allowed to sell only take-away orders.

Netanyahu said the special cabinet for handling the pandemic will convene later in the week to determine the future steps and lifting of more restrictions.

"If we all abide by the rules, this will work. If not, we will have to reinforce restrictions," said Netanyahu.

A complete nationwide lockdown in Israel has been imposed since Sept. 18, due to a surge in COVID-19 morbidity. Enditem