On Friday, three people across the country collapsed from heat stroke, all within an hour of each other.
Later in the day, doctors at the Soroka medical centre were forced to pronounce the 19-year-old dead after resuscitation efforts failed.
Ariel Yoav Tzafri suffered from heat stroke while he was in a nature reserve in Pura near Kiryat Gat. The Magen David Adom paramedics who were called to the scene evacuated him to Soroka.
MDA ambulance driver Josh Weinstein said that “when we arrived at the car park we were taken to a private car. The young man was unconscious and was lying in the back seat of the car. We immediately began resuscitation and tried to cool him down, while administering fluids and medication and performing a respiratory assessment before evacuating him in critical condition to the hospital. “
The police announced shortly after the incident that they had opened an investigation into the circumstances that led to the collapse of Ariel Yoav Tzafri. They suspect that he was attending an illegal rave that was organised despite extreme weather conditions and coronavirus restrictions that prevent large gatherings.
In Kiryat Shmona, a 50-year-old man also suffered from heatstroke on Friday. He received medical care from MDA paramedics who evacuated him to hospital in an unstable condition.
MDA paramedic Yuval Levi said that “when we arrived at the scene, people told us that the man had been lying on the pavement for a while and they called us because he didn’t answer them. So we took him in the air-conditioned ambulance during CPR. He was evacuated to the hospital in an unstable state. “
Earlier Friday, a 50-year-old woman was also hospitalized after collapsing from heat stroke while hiking in Nahal El Al in the Golan Heights. The woman was evacuated by a rescue helicopter in a serious condition.
The Ministry of Health called on the public, especially the elderly population and patients with chronic diseases, to follow safety instructions and avoid direct sun exposure and unnecessary physical activity, to be careful and to drink enough water and stay in air-conditioned conditions as much as possible.
The Nature and Parks Authority warned earlier this week that “due to the increasing danger of fires” there is a strict ban on setting fires in nature reserves and national parks throughout the country.
The warning also stated that “the public is urged to avoid hiking in open areas in the coming days for fear of dehydration and life-threatening weather conditions.
However, the authority noted that short walks in shaded areas with designated refreshment points are considered safe. More information on closed reserves and recommended walking areas can be found on the authority’s website.