When no one else in Israel could be found willing to take the risk, Zaka volunteers stepped up to the plate and tended to the body of an Israeli man who passed away while in quarantine for COVID-19 on Monday.
The body of the 50-year-old Netanya resident, who recently returned from France and passed away while in self-quarantine, lay on the floor for hours as authorities tried to find someone willing to perform the true chessed shel emes. As midnight approached, Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov turned to ZAKA chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav and requested his help.
A select staff of volunteers took the sacred mission onto themselves. After receiving a medical briefing and donning protective clothing, forged with mesiras nefesh and emunah, they tended to the meis in the room he had been quarantined in. They wrapped the body in several bags and evacuated it to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv.
The ZAKA ambulance was then thoroughly disinfected but this final step proved unnecessary. The tests carried out at Abu Kabir showed that the meis was not infected with the coronavirus, and had apparently passed away from a heart attack.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)