Originating in China last December, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has rapidly spread across the globe prompting the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare the new virus outbreak a pandemic on March 11.

The first death from the novel coronavirus has been registered in Israel, the health ministry announced.

The person who died was an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor with a record of other health issues.

Earlier, the health authorities said the number of coronavirus cases in Israel climbed to 1,238 including with 24 in serious condition, 34 are in moderate condition, 1,142 have light symptoms, and at least 37 people have recovered from the illness.

To curb the spread of COVID-19, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tightened quarantine measures in the country, ordering all citizens to stay home except those whose work is permitted in an emergency situation.

Israel earlier suspended entry to all foreigners and closed its land borders with the West Bank, Jordan, and Egypt.