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Israel: Number of coronavirus cases up to 2,495, including 41 in serious condition

The Health Ministry said Thursday morning the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Israel has climbed to 2,495, an increase of 126 new cases of the disease since the night before.

There are 41 people in serious condition, up two from Wednesday, the ministry said. Another 68 people are in moderate condition and the rest have mild symptoms.

So far, 66 people have fully recovered from the illness, the ministry said. Five Israelis have died.

In the past 24 hours there were 5,240 tests conducted for the virus and 59,493 people are currently under mandatory home quarantine over concerns they may have been exposed to the virus, the ministry noted.

The updated ministry figures came after the government tightened lockdown rules and warned violators could face fines and six months of imprisonment.

The emergency regulations, in effect for a seven-day period, include a prohibition on people venturing more than 100 meters from their homes, apart from under certain circumstances, and the shuttering of synagogues.

The regulations (read the full list here) permit Israelis to leave their homes only for essential reasons, including seeking medical care and buying groceries.

The government on Wednesday also gave police the power to impose fines of NIS 500 ($138) or even imprisonment of up to six months for individuals violating these restrictions, as well as larger fines for businesses who do so, including a NIS 5,000 ($1380) fine for illegally operating public transportation.

Header: Staff, wearing protective gear, handle a coronavirus test sample in Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, Jerusalem on March 24, 2020. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)