Security systems, facilities take preventive steps amid coronavirus fears

Services for former soldiers have been suspended on a number of platforms until further notice due to the novel coronavirus.

People look out from the windows of the Defense Ministry. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
People look out from the windows of the Defense Ministry.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
Security forces and facilities throughout the country have been taking precautionary steps to protect their employees and customers amid the outbreak of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Rehabilitation of the Disabled Division within the Defense Ministry will be closing all public receptions throughout the country, both in the medical committees and headquarters, out of concern for the health and safety of disabled IDF veterans.
As such, any hearings with the medical committees and check-ups which were supposed to occur are canceled until further notice. Those who had cancelled appointments may request reimbursements through the website.
In addition, the Division and Fund for Defense Ministry Veterans will be closing all of its districts' public receptions until further notice. According to a press release, the division instead recommends that veteraned soldiers of the Defense Ministry contact them via email or over the phone between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
The IDF Disabled Veterans Organization (ZDVO) announced on Sunday that fighters' homes across the country will be closing operations until further notice.
Fighters' homes are country clubs of sorts strewn throughout the country in which disabled IDF veterans and their immediate families may become members and make use of facilities such as sports centers, physical therapy, lessons, lectures, galleries and other social activities.
They will be shutting down due to the updated instructions from the Health Ministry stating that gatherings of over 10 people in a single place, as well as a minimum distance of two meters between each person, are forbidden by law until further notice.
"We will return and reopen the facilities and treatments as soon as possible, as the instructions of the Health Ministry allow," ZDVO Chairman Edan Kleiman said. "The fighter houses are much more than another gathering place. For disabled IDF veterans, they are a true home and a meeting place, a healing place, an activity place and a comfortable place.
"We hope and pray that we will be able to reopen the houses as soon as possible and to continue to faithfully serve disabled IDF veterans," Kleiman, a former Givati Brigade combat soldier who was wounded during a military operation in Khan Yunis, concluded.
The Defense Ministry announced in December that it recognizes 57,277 disabled IDF veterans, which includes soldiers who are suffering both physical and mental injuries.
So far, over 2,500 soldiers in active duty are in quarantine, according to the Health Ministry. The IDF has been taking precautionary steps as of late to protect its soldiers from the virus, telling all soldiers who returned to their bases on Sunday to be prepared for an extended stay as part of an effort to contain the spread of the illness.
Anyone whose service is not in "dailies," or returning home every day, must prepare to stay at their individual bases for up to a month.
In addition, reserve army service has been suspended until after Passover on April 15.
“This decision was carefully considered and made with the desire to preserve the IDF’s readiness, while maintaining the commitment between the IDF and its personnel in supporting their families at the present time,” the IDF said in a statement.
The army will additionally prepare in case the virus becomes a full-blown national crisis, in which case in may need to take part in national measures such as using military bases as field hospitals and assisting police in enforcing quarantines.
Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.