The Health Ministry reported Israel's first death from COVID-19 disease Friday.
Aryeh Even, 88, was hospitalized and placed in the quarantine unit for coronavirus patients at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem about a week ago. He arrived in severe condition and was reported to have been suffering from a number of underlying conditions.
At the hospital, Even received several treatments from medical staff in an attempt to combat his symptoms. However, during the week, the elderly patient suffered from cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated but his condition remained stagnant.
Even's condition worsened in the hours leading up to death, and he passed away at 9 p.m.
Aryeh was a Holocaust survivor from Hungary who was able to rebuild his life in Israel, his grandson, Maor, told Maariv, The Jerusalem Post's sister publication. He is survived by four children, 18 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Before being hospitalized, Even was living in the Migdal Nofim assisted living facility in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood, Israel Hayom reported. Six other seniors from the same facility have also contracted coronavirus, one of whom is in severe condition at Hadassah-University Medical Center, in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem. Her situation began to deteriorate on the same day that Even passed away.
Last week, a social worker at Migdal Nofim, which was established in 1984, was diagnosed with coronavirus. The contagion has spread in the facility since then.
"As soon as it became known that one of the social workers was infected with coronavirus, we urged the Health Ministry to test all the occupants who came in contact with her, but they said they would only do so when symptoms show. I urged the Health Ministry to change that policy," said Rafi Pollak, manager of the Migdal Nofim nursing home.
“What happened is very sad. I really hope nobody else gets sick,” Migdal Nofim resident Ruth Weiner, 89, told the Post on Saturday night. Weiner explained that she did not personally know Even.
All residents of the facility are currently in isolation in their apartments.
“We are very well taken care for; the staff is doing a very good job”, Weiner said. "I know that if I was to feel bad, I'd just need to call the reception and they would call MDA."
She told the Post that in the last update she received on Friday before Shabbat, when she does not use the phone, a member of the staff said that if nobody else gets infected in the coming week, they might be able to leave their apartments.
“It would help a lot. It is not easy to be alone all day,” she added.
Weiner said that several small things are helping in light of the challenging situation: On Friday someone left challot and a cake on her door and she managed to see her niece from the balcony after she and her husband delivered food for her at the building.
Celia Jean, Zachary Keyser and Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.