IDF Chief of Staff orders troops to remain on base for a month

Decision comes after spike in coronavirus cases in the military

IS HIS silence democratic? Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi after a recent helicopter flight. (photo credit: IDF)
IS HIS silence democratic? Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi after a recent helicopter flight.
(photo credit: IDF)
The IDF announced on Sunday that all soldiers who are due back at their bases on Tuesday after the Yom Kippur holiday must prepare for an extended stay as the military beefs up its efforts to reduce the continued spread of coronavirus.
In a statement, the military said that all combat soldiers, those currently in training and at units where they don’t regularly go home at weekends, must prepare to remain at their bases for up to a month.
Only officers holding the rank of at least Lieutenant-Colonel have been authorized to grant exceptions.
On open bases, soldiers have been ordered to work in shifts as they maintain capsules as they aim to reduce contact between people.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi issued the order following the significant rise of coronavirus cases in the military. On Saturday evening, the IDF said that 1,190 service personnel had tested positive for the virus, and another 13,038 were in quarantine.
“The infection rate among the civilian population and in the IDF requires that we take a series of steps to tighten and intensify the rules at all military units,” Kochavi said. “Only a joint effort between the state, the IDF and civilians will bring about a reduction in infection.”
“Maintaining the IDF’s readiness is a top task making the fight against the corona pandemic within the IDF a central aim. We must act immediately and with full force to reduce the infection rate within the IDF,” Kochavi said.
He added that apart from the need to maintain operational readiness, reducing the number of coronavirus cases in the military was also necessary to be able to continue to provide assistance to the civilian sector.
In March, the IDF also confined soldiers to their bases and suspended all training for reservists until after the end of the Passover holiday on April 15.