By Marcy Oster
As the daily number of diagnosed coronavirus cases in Israel continued at record levels, a major hospital in Jerusalem said it would not admit more COVID-19 patients.
Shaare Zedek Medical Center has the largest number of corona patients in critical condition, many on respirators.
Its director-general, Ofer Marin, told the Israeli public broadcaster Kan on Monday evening that he told the Magen David Adom emergency services not to bring any more coronavirus patients to Shaare Zedek.
Earlier, the head of Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, in northern Israel, said he would not accept any more coronavirus patients because of overcrowding in the coronavirus wards and intensive care units.
The daily number of diagnosed coronavirus cases rose to nearly 5,000 on Monday, with a positive test rate of 10.8 percent. Israel has seen a total of 1,141 deaths from the pandemic.
Israel will go under a near-total lockdown on Friday, two hours before the Rosh Hashanah holiday, that will run for at least three weeks.
Meanwhile, Israel’s so-called coronavirus czar on Tuesday called for schools from at least fifth grade to be closed on Wednesday instead of waiting for the start of the national lockdown because of the high rate of infection in the schools.