March 20, 2020 / 8:29 PM / 15 days ago

Israel reports first coronavirus fatality

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel reported its first fatality from the coronavirus on Friday, an 88-year-old man who suffered from previous illnesses.

The Health Ministry said in a statement he had been brought to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem about a week ago in serious condition.

Israel has so far reported 705 cases of coronavirus, the large majority with mild symptoms. About 10 patients are in serious condition and 15 have recovered completely.

Israel was one of the first countries to enact strict travel restrictions and on Thursday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tightened a national stay-at-home policy, saying police would enforce restrictions.

The guidelines said that no more than 10 people should gather in one place and the government has threatened to impose lockdown orders unless people observed the instructions.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Chris Reese and Andrew Cawthorne

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