200321 Israel
A sign calling people to stay home to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus is placed on a statue of the first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion at a beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, March 20, 2020. Image Credit: AP

Occupied Jerusalem: 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 occupied 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.

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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.