Israel: 76,763 Cases, 561 Deaths, IDF’s COVID-19 Task Force To Begin Operations

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Home Front Command Head Maj-Gen Uri Gordin (Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)

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Israel’s Health Ministry recorded 1,692 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours as of Wednesday morning. The number of active cases is currently 25,598, with 341 people in serious condition, of whom 99 are ventilated. Ten more deaths were recorded, raising the death toll to 561.

Five of Israel’s hospitals are now operating at or over 100% capacity in their coronavirus wards, the Health Ministry stated. There are currently 750 hospitalized coronavirus patients.

The IDF’s Coronavirus Command, headed by Brig.-Gen. Nissan Davidi, will begin operations on Thursday in its battle against the coronavirus, the IDF announced on Tuesday. The task force, located at the Alon Coronavirus Command Center at the Home Front Command’s headquarters near Ramle is employing about 2,000 soldiers who will assist health officials with contact tracing efforts.

The task force aims to utilize the added manpower to conduct coronavirus tests and epidemiological investigations with enhanced efficiency, and hopes to carry out epidemiological probes within a day and a half from diagnosis rather than the five days it currently takes.

“We have learned from countries such as Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea how to operate,” said the head of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Uri Gordin.

The soldiers, who include reservists who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis, will conduct the investigations in municipal centers of local authorities. “Local authorities have not been sufficiently included in the battle against the virus,” Gordin said. “Now, that will change.”

“It won’t happen tomorrow but we want to get to the winter with a 3% infection rate and not 8% like it is today.”

The command center will take advantage of advanced IDF technology to centralize the data of Magen David Adom, the Health Ministry and Israel’s four Kupot Cholim.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)