Israel: 49,575 Cases, 406 Deaths, Gov’t Selects “Coronavirus Commissioner”

Prof. Gavriel Barbash (Screenshot: Weizmann Institute)

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Israel’s Health Ministry reported 1,414 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, raising the number of active patients to 27,729. The number of seriously ill patients has surged to 238 and the number of ventilated patients has jumped to 62. Six more deaths were recorded overnight, raising the death toll to 406.

Prof. Gavriel Barbash, the former CEO of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and former Health Ministry Director-General, is expected to be appointed as Israel’s coronavirus commissioner to manage the coronavirus crisis, Channel 12 News reported on Sunday, adding that an agreement has not yet been signed but is in its final stages.

Many senior officials have been pressuring the government for months to transfer the management of the coronavirus pandemic to a centralized authority in the Defense Ministry.

In light of the alarming rise of coronavirus cases among its troops, the IDF reopened a 500-bed quarantine facility for soldiers in Ashkelon and tightened restrictions for soldiers, including forbidding soldiers to participate in gatherings of over five people while on leave.

There are currently 801 IDF soldiers, officers and civilian employees who are confirmed coronavirus carriers and about 11,500 in quarantine.

If necessary, two additional quarantine facilities for soldiers will open in Haifa, increasing the number of available quarantine spots to almost 1,200.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. COVID-19

    Have we in the Orthodox community learned to deal with this disease seriously? I met someone this past Shabbos, as we were walking, who told me that a chasidish type of young man saw him wearing a mask and asked him, “So you still hold from corona?” Is this what it has come to? COVID will disappear based on whether we “hold” of it or not?