Coronavirus strikes IDF, President’s Residence, workout center

Gov’t confirms appointment of Chezy Levy as Health Ministry D-G

The President's Residence is disinfected on June 14, 2020 (photo credit: TOMER REICHMAN/COURTESY)
The President's Residence is disinfected on June 14, 2020
Several key offices and establishments have been plagued with the novel coronavirus in recent days, putting key staff members into isolation and sending warnings to the public to keep the Health Ministry’s regulations.
“I am asking the public to respect the guidelines of the Health Ministry: wearing masks, keeping distance and washing hands,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
Coronavirus was found in one of the Intelligence Units of the IDF last Thursday, the army confirmed on Sunday.
In order to prevent further infection, several combat support soldiers were put into isolation. The soldiers have all been tested and the results are expected soon. The IDF said that the operational capacity of the unit is not impaired.
The army said there has been a total of 245 soldiers diagnosed with coronavirus, all with mild symptoms, with 28 currently active cases. Some 1,058 soldiers are in isolation.
The President's Residence was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected on Sunday after a staff member was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus over the weekend.
Ten members of President Reuven Rivlin’s team entered isolation on Sunday. The president is not required to isolate himself, according to the Health Ministry.
All areas of the residence were cleaned, including the bathrooms, kitchens and the president’s private office so that he and the rest of the staff can resume work on Monday, a spokesperson said.
Also, on Sunday, an employee of Clalit Health Services who attended a company event last week tested positive. The event, which honored the work of staff members during the crisis, was attended by the fund's senior executives. At first it appeared that all 50 participants would need to be isolated, but in the end, only seven Clalit staff members entered quarantine.
Moreover, the Health Ministry’s coronavirus tracker revealed an interesting new phenomenon: Eight people were diagnosed with coronavirus at one workout facility in Jerusalem’s city center, all who had been at the gym multiple times between June 1-8 and on June 10.
Meanwhile, the government approved the appointment of Prof. Chezy Levy as the new director-general of the Health Ministry on Sunday.
“I am sure he will be of great help in leading the system in the challenging period ahead of us, especially in dealing with the coronavirus,” Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said.
Levy, a surgical specialist, has been the medical director of the Barzilai Medical Center since 2012. He replaces outgoing director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov.
He served as a doctor in the first Lebanon war and participated in several medical humanitarian missions around the world, including to Kosovo, Zaire, Kenya, Macedonia, Turkey and Rwanda.
He led the creation of Barzilai’s fortified underground emergency department, which is considered one of the most protected and technologically advanced in the world.
Levy has extensive experience in emergency medicine, as well.
“The State of Israel is in a very tough battle against the coronavirus,” Levy said. “This is just one part of the challenges that face the healthcare system.”
He said he will work hard to lead the professional fight against the pandemic and to ensure that all Israelis receive proper and compassionate care.