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Israel Update 16.7.20



Israel saw its highest daily toll of new coronavirus cases since the outbreak began, with 1,758 new diagnoses reported in the past 24 hours as at Thursday morning. 204 patients are in serious condition of whom 57 are ventilated. The death toll has risen to 380. The number of active patients currently ill with the disease now stands at 24,234. Read more here


The Israeli government is set to discuss the closure of restaurants, beaches and synagogues as well as limiting gatherings to 10 people, together with other restrictions at an urgent meeting today.(Thursday) Read more here


The Health Ministry released a list on Sunday afternoon of the number of people who had tested positive for coronavirus and caught the disease between June 4 and July 10 while at a known source of infection and revealed that 170 Israelis caught coronavirus at weddings. 35 caught coronavirus at gyms while 21 caught it at restaurants and six at bars. Read more here




Israel has started trialling a COVID-19 test (the Sofia test), that claims to provide results in just 15 minutes, at a pilot program at a Lod coronavirus testing centre.Read more here


Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Health Care Campus say that the “pooling” method they successfully tested in March, which would increase testing capacity and speed, is undergoing final validation; they hope it will be accessible to hospitals and health fund labs soon. Pooling enables simultaneous testing of dozens of samples. Read more here




An FDA-approved treatment for cholesterol could dramatically ease the symptoms of Covid-19, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reports. Prof. Yaakov Nahmias found that the drug Fenofibrate could inhibit Covid-19’s ability to reproduce in lung cells. He said, “If our results are confirmed in clinical trials, then within a few months, treatment with this drug could be turning Covid-19 into a type of common cold.” Read more here




There are at least 28 missile launching sites in Hizbullah-dominated civilian areas of southern Beirut, a report has revealed. Hizbullah is using the population of Beirut as human shields by placing their launch sites near public buildings, educational institutions, factories etc. The sites were found next to high schools, clinics, hospitals, golf clubs and soccer fields and are located inside private houses, medical centres, churches, industrial sites, public offices, and fast food chains. Read more here




A senior naval commander in the armed wing of the Hamas terror group has fled the Gaza Strip to Israel. The official, said to have overseen the group’s divers unit, fled on an Israeli military boat with a laptop, cash, surveillance equipment, and “classified, dangerous documents.”Read more here




Israel’s Prospera Technologies and German pharmaceutical giant Bayer are partnering to help improve the output at greenhouses. Using machine learning and big data, Prospera has monitored the production of $5 trillion worth of agricultural produce in recent years. Using AI and advanced data collecting methods ensures that each plant and every seed is brought to its full potential in the field.Read more here


Rising food and water insecurity, and chemical-resistant bugs and weeds, are driving a movement to grow crops naturally with the help of technology. This article describes 8 Israeli inventions for greener farming.  Read more here




CAPS MEDICAL has developed a small disposable catheter that can reach deep inside the body to deliver cold atmospheric plasma The company is tackling non-muscle invasive bladder cancer first, reaching the bladder via the urethra. The device will be also used for other types of solid organ tumours. Read more here


Israeli startup CorNeat Vision, an ophthalmic medical device company, announced that its newest solution, the CorNeat KPro, – a synthetic cornea that bio-integrates with the eye wall – has received approval to begin a clinical trial at Beilinson Hospital.             Read more here




Shai Efrati. a Tel Aviv University associate professor and a senior doctor at the Shamir Medical Centre has claimed to ‘reverse’ aging with pure oxygen treatment study. Volunteers aged 65-plus ended up with sharper brains after sessions in a special oxygen chamber. Read more here



Israeli scientists are treating municipal and agricultural pruning, hay, paper waste and paper sludge with ozone to turn it in to ethanol for hand sanitizers. Read more here


Israeli company Tera Novel has signed an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement with Tambour, one of Israel’s leading paint and construction material manufacturers, to produce and market products containing Tera Novel’s patented antibacterial additive that neutralizes viral compounds including the coronavirus. Read more here




A senior Saudi Arabian researcher has had an article published in an Israeli journal, Kesher, in a development Tel Aviv University called “unprecedented.” Prof. Mohammed Ibrahim Alghbban, head of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Hebrew Studies at the Department of Modern Languages and Translation at King Saud University in Riyadh, wrote an essay about the Prophet Muhammad’s good relations with Jews. Read more here




As Israel and Thailand celebrate 66 years of diplomatic relations, the two countries signed another agreement bolstering ties, bringing essential workers to the agriculture sector. Read more here