David Bitan in serious, stable condition 1 week into COVID hospitalization

Likud MK David Bitan was hospitalized last week with COVID-19.

David Bitan in Knesset on February 5, 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
David Bitan in Knesset on February 5, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Likud MK David Bitan, after testing positive for COVID-19, is in serious yet stable condition, his family said on Saturday night.
Bitan is still hooked up to an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine as per the recommendations of medical staff at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.
Bitan is managing to communicate with his surroundings, according to the family, which thanked the hospital staff for its dedicated work.
The ECMO machine is similar to the heart-lung by-pass machine used in open-heart surgery. It pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.
Bitan was hospitalized a week prior after testing positive for COVID-19 in the beginning of December.
Bitan’s conduct ahead of his diagnosis was condemned by Health Ministry officials as 30 people, three of which were fellow MKs, were forced to go into isolation after coming in contact with him. He had experienced clear symptoms of the deadly virus, yet had not gone to get tested and instead violated coronavirus restrictions and came into contact with the large sum of people.
“I thought I had the flu and nothing more. I did not have a fever, and my cough had phlegm. It started on Thursday night. I met people after that, but I thought I had the flu.” Bitan told N12 following his diagnosis.
On Saturday night, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein made history by being the first people in Israel to receive a coronavirus vaccine in the same hospital where Bitan is being treated, they came to visit him.
They wished him a fast recovery beyond the window of the coronavirus ward.