Rabbi Masoud Touboul
Rabbi Masoud TouboulChabad

Rabbi Masoud Touboul, one of the leading Chabad hasidim in France, has passed away after contracting the coronavirus.

Touboul, 60, was the director of the Beit Hanna girls' institution in Paris, attended by some-2,000 students. One of his sons is hasidic music producer Levi Touboul.

Chabad hasid, Michael Tayeb, a resident of Kfar Chabad who made aliyah from France, said, "[He was] my dear friend. I am shocked. He will be buried without [purification rites] or a minyan [for reciting kaddish]. I just spoke to his son. [Touboul] was a true Lubavitch hasid in Paris with Rabbi Azimov," he said.

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide crossed the 300,000 threshold Saturday evening. So far, the virus that broke out in China this past December has claimed the lives of 13,000 people.

The mortality rate in Italy stands at 8.6%, in Iran the figure has reached 7.5%, in Spain, it's at 5.3%, in the UK 4.4%, in France 3.6% and in the Netherlands, it's at 2.9%.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu is set to discuss the option of tightening national quarantine measures this evening due to the continued spread of the virus. Against the backdrop of reports of numerous cases of residents seen spending time outside, the possibility of mandating that citizens remain at home on all occasions with the exception of emergencies and getting essential products is being considered.

Meanwhile, a health employee at the emergency room of Laniado Hospital in Netanya has tested positive for the virus. According to the hospital report, she contracted COVID-19 from outside sources and not within the medical center itself, and that staff members who had been in contact with her had been quarantined. This is the second reported infection at Laniado.

Transport Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced Saturday that he had imposed a self-quarantine after coming in contact with a coronavirus carrier.

His bureau noted that last Tuesday, he met with a woman who tested positive for the virus and that the minister will enter quarantine until March 31 according to the Ministry of Health's guidelines.

"Together, G-d willing, we will get past this complex period. I urge the citizens of Israel to comply with the Ministry of Health's guidelines and wish them all a complete recovery. I will continue to work from home and remotely accompany the efforts of the government and Ministry of Health. Have a good week," read a statement by Smoltrich.