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Bnei Brak hospital says it is at full capacity for patients needing ventilation

The Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center on Tuesday announced it has reached capacity for patients requiring a ventilator due to a lack of the monitors required to operate the machines.

The hospital has 12 working ventilators and all are in use, the Haaretz daily reported. According to the newspaper, Israel has concluded that it is unable to procure any further ventilators from abroad and instead will need to find a locally produced solution.

The hospital asked the Health Ministry for additional equipment but was provided with monitors that don’t fit their needs, the Ynet news site reported.

According to NPR, early research suggests that patients who are put on a ventilator tend to stay on the machines for a period of weeks, and many are unable to be taken off the breathing apparatus.

According to the Health Ministry, 9,404 people were sick with the virus as of Wednesday morning, 147 of them seriously. Of the serious cases, 122 were on ventilators. Israel has had 71 fatalities from the virus.

Nearly one-third of the approximately 9,000 coronavirus cases in Israel are in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak.

Bnei Brak, a predominantly Haredi city near Tel Aviv, had 67 cases per 10,000 people, according to the Health Ministry.

Many in the ultra-Orthodox community initially dismissed social distancing regulations, which officials say has led to the high rate of infection.

This prompted the closure of Bnei Brak — the most densely populated city in Israel — by the government, the first for an Israeli city amid the pandemic.

A national lockdown barring intercity travel came into effect Tuesday ahead of the Passover holiday. A full closure will be in effect over the first night of the holiday on Wednesday.

The measures are designed to keep Israelis from attempting to spend the festive Passover Seder meal with relatives or others, which officials fear could lead to a fresh wave of infections and push Israel backwards just as initial signs of recovery have started to emerge.