By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Since the battle against the coronavirus began in Israel the government has sought out various methods to contain the virus. Many of these have blended initiatives from the Ministry of Health with other ministries, including the army and Ministry of Defense. Here is a look at the articles and statements related to this.
I have compiled this background on how Israel prepared and fought against the coronavirus pandemic. It includes all of the official statements from the IDF and Ministry of Defense in March 2020 as well as official photos released by them. Several other details from local media and social media are also included. It is organized chronologically in reverse (the most recent day appears first).
Some interesting details:
- Use of Mossad to being test kits
- Use of unit 8200, C4i, Shin Bet and other intel to track cases
- Ventilators produced by IAI and Inovytec
- Radar and electro optics by Elbit and IAI
- The Maya sticker for masks
- development of respirators
- Vocalis Health algorithm
- Troops deployed during crises with police
- Coordination and sharing of details with US and others
- Use of hotels for patients
IDF focuses on Arab communities. “Today April 15th, 2020, a situation assessment was conducted as part of the IDF assistance to Israeli Arab civilians. The situation assessment was conducted in the village of Deir al-Assad, and was led by the Commanding Officer of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai, with the participation of heads of Israeli Arab municipalities as well as representatives of the Ministry of Health, Israeli Police and the MDA. Data regarding the IDF assistance to Israeli Arab communities as part of the fight against the Corona virus:
• Over 185,000 meals have been distributed since the IDF began distributing food in Israeli Arab communities, approximately two weeks ago.
• In order to execute these efforts, approximately 80 IDF reservists were recruited and designated to assist various Israeli Arab municipalities across Israel. This in addition to IDF service members currently assisting in the field.
• Over the past week, approximately 3,000 hygiene kits were distributed in Bedouin communities in the Negev. Among other products, the kits include information brochures in Arabic, offered by the Ministry of Health. This was led by the Home Front Command’s Southern District and in cooperation with the Bedouin Administration.
• The Home Front Command launched a national emergency portal in Arabic in order to provide Israeli Arabs with accessible information.
• Four mobile “Drive-in” facilities of the MDA were opened, with the assistance of the Home Front Command, in Eastern Jerusalem, Jisr az-Zarqa, Fureidis and Rahat.
This morning (Wednesday), the Commanding Officer of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai, joined the Commanding Officer of the Home Front Command’s Northern District Col. Guy Berger, and the Commanding Officer of the Home Front Command Western Galilee Region, Col. (Res.) Raz Karni, in the city of Shfar’am and the village of Deir al-Assad, to be briefed regarding the Command’s efforts carried in the area.
Semi Conductor Devices (SCD) ‒ a global leader in the development and
manufacture of a wide range of cooled and uncooled infrared detectors and high-power laser diodes announced today its involvement in the development of a system that will remotely monitor physiological parameters, assisting medical personnel in their diagnostic process. The system’s development is a combined effort led by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Technology Unit
with participation of additional Israeli Industries. SCD provides the Infrared (IR) video engine sensor including developing specific adaptations for the system’s unique requirements, thus ensuring seamless system integration and operation. The SCD video engine sensor – termed VOXI – is a highly sensitive IR sensor with advanced processing
abilities enabling remote and automatic temperature monitoring in various environments. “SCD is proud to take part in this rapid Israeli design effort working side by side with the IMOD and IDF technology experts”, says SCD’s CEO Dan Slasky. ” Fighting the coronavirus in any possible way is crucial, and the new system developed will improve the efficiency and safety of the diagnostic process in hospitals and public facilities”, he says.
IDF: As part of the IDF’s assistance in fighting the Corona virus, various IDF units are working on developing applicable and advanced solutions in order to assist the civilian population.
The Israeli Navy’s Commando unit, Shayetet 13, has extensive experience in scuba diving and independent compression of oxygen gas into containers.
Over the past few weeks, a number of teams from Shayetet 13 have developed a solution for civilians who are in need of oxygen tanks for medicinal purposes.
The development teams have converted the operational production line into a medical oxygen compressing system, according to required standards and protocols, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, ‘Yad Sarah’ and other organizations. Along with development and supply, the unit assists with the logistics and delivery of the oxygen tanks as needed.
MoD: The Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP), at the Israel Ministry of Defense has ordered an additional operation to air lift approximately 12 million surgical masks among other medical equipment from China to Israel As a result of the joint efforts of the DOPP, CAL Cargo Airlines, and medical company, Sion Medical, 60 tons of protective equipment is now making its way from China to Israel on a cargo aircraft (747). This is the first of five cargo aircraft that will land in Israel in the coming days, bringing approximately 12 million surgical masks, 1.3 million N95 masks, and 1.2 million protective suits for medical staff from the factories of Sion Medical.
The equipment from China will complement the local production of tens of millions of masks ordered by the Ministry of Defense from the company’s plant in Sderot (southern Israel), as well as the delivery of additional equipment flown from Mexico, for the benefit of Israel’s medical staff and security forces
MoD: A short while ago, an El Al aircraft took off from Seoul, South Korea and is making its way to Israel carrying chemicals (reagents), for tens of thousands of COVID-19 virus tests. In addition to the reagents, the cargo contains 30,000 protective suits for medical staff.
April 6th, 2020, a food packaging and distribution operation was carried out across the cities of Bnei Brak and Beitar Illit as part of the IDF’s efforts to aid civilian populations. The operation was led by the 98th Division, along with commanders and soldiers from the Home Front Command, the Logistics Corps of the Central Command, officers of the Command & Staff Course of the IDF Military Collages and an additional company of the “Nahal” Brigade.
Overnight, approximately 50 tons of fruits and vegetables were packed, including 7 tons of peppers, 7 tons of cucumbers, 5.7 tons of oranges, 10 tons of potatoes, approximately 8 tons of sweet potatoes, 10 tons of carrots and approximately 1.5 tons of lemons and clementines. All of this was packed into approximately 8,000 packages. Over the past two days, approximately 15,000 packages were distributed by the troops of the 98th Division to families across Bnei Brak.
The Logistics officer of the Judea and Samaria Division, Lt. Col. Chai Kfir: “We are deployed in great numbers to assist the municipality with food distribution to the families of the sick, the quarantined and the elderly and to allow them to celebrate the Seder (Passover Eve) with dignity and without having to leave their homes. Our mission here is a resounding expression of solidarity and saving lives.”
Officer of the 55th Brigade, Maj. Eliran Usher: “Over the past day, we have received approximately 50 tons of fruits and vegetables and packed them into 8,000 packages. Thanks to our soldiers, all the packages will make their way to the residents of Bnei Brak. We will continue assisting and supporting the civilians in Bnei Brak and throughout Israel as necessary.”
Data regarding the IDF assistance to the civilian population as part of the fight against the Corona virus:
• Over the past week, IDF troops packed approximately 1,610,000 food packages for Passover and the weekend.
• Today (Tuesday), 118,635 food packages were distributed to civilians across Israel.
• Approximately 15,000 food packages were distributed in the city of Bnei Brak by the troops of the 98th Division. The packages contained dry goods, vegetables, fruits and toilet paper.
• 18,000 IDF commanders and soldiers will continue assisting in aid missions to civilian populations as necessary.
• IDF troops have assisted approximately 192 housing projects until now. Today, they began assisting also geriatric facilities across Israel. Approximately 40 educational frameworks were opened by the IDF Education and Youth Corps that provide childcare to the children of medical staff throughout the country. Approximately 20 additional programs will be operated starting within the next two weeks.
• Today (Tuesday), approximately 8,000 calls were made to the Home Front Command information center. In addition, approximately 25,000 calls were made to the national civilian aid center.
• As of this day, 12 hotels aimed to host Corona virus patients in light condition are operating. Eighth of these hotels are hosting people who tested positive for the virus, and four are hosting quarantined civilians. Four of these hotels are for ultra-Orthodox (Haredi). The hotels are currently hosting approximately 1,044 Corona virus patients and 578 quarantined people. The hotels will also be hosting a Passover Eve dinner; the Dan Panorama Hotel will host a dinner for approximately 500 guests and the Nir Etzion Hotel is preparing to host the feast for approximately 300 guests.
• Until now approximately 10,169 blood donations have been collected in the IDF.
IDF: the Home Front Command began its assistance to the City of Bnei Brak. The soldiers of the 98th Division arrived in the city and began assisting the local authority. The soldiers are currently distributing food supplies for the civilians and medicine to those in need.
MoD: The Ministry of Defense is contributing to the national effort to procure and manufacture medical equipment for our health institutions, with an emphasis on ventilators. In accordance with the directive of the Minister of Defense to establish local manufacturing capabilities, the Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP), and the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), have recruited Israeli companies, Flight Medical and Baya Technologies, as well as defense industry RAFAEL, to expand the production of ventilators. As a result of this joint effort, 63 ventilators have been manufactured locally, and delivered to the Ministry of Health on Thursday (02/04/2020). In the coming weeks, additional ventilators will be manufactured.
Flight Medical Ltd. is a member of Ilex Medical Group Ltd., which develops advanced ventilation solutions marketed in Israel and around the world. Baya Technologies specializes in manufacturing digital products for the defense and medical industries in Israel and abroad. Baya Technologies Inc. is currently expanding its production lines and absorbing dozens of employees to meet the challenging goals set by the State of Israel.
The Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP) in the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), conducted a procurement operation with the assistance of ICL corporate and its representatives in China, to supply medical equipment to Israeli hospitals in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and the Israeli Embassy in China, played an essential role and acquired additional equipment via donors.
Upon the completion of preparations over a period of two weeks, including procurement agreements, diplomatic efforts and logistical arrangements, an airlift of essential medical equipment is taking off from China and will be on its way to Israel. El Al’s Dreamliner (787) aircraft is currently taking off from Shanghai Airport, carrying over 900,000 surgical masks, half a million protective suits for medical teams, and additional critical equipment. This essential equipment was acquired by the Ministry of Defense with the assistance of the ICL company and its representatives in China, in accordance with the requirements outlined by the Ministry of Health. Additional equipment, including ventilators, will be delivered to Israel in the coming days, as a result of the efforts led by the MFA and the Israeli embassy in China.
The DOPP in IMoD recruited El Al to operate the airlift. The company has adapted 11 Dreamliner aircraft to carry cargo for this purpose. The first flight recently took off from China, and will land at Ben Gurion airport tomorrow (06/04/2020), morning. El Al will operate two flights per day for a period of approximately one week, until the operation is completed.
IDF: The Minister of Interior, Aryeh Deri, and the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, discussed the assistance to the City of Bnei Brak and its residence as part of the combat to prevent the spread of the Corona virus.
As part of the conversation, the Chief of the General Staff offered several courses of action and means that the IDF can employ to help the city’s residents prevent the spread.
It was concluded that the IDF, with the help of the 98th Division HQ, operating under the Home Front Command, will begin assisting civilian areas in the city shortly.
IDF: Over the past weeks, the IDF has been taking an active part in the efforts to limit the spread of the Corona virus. IDF service members have been assisting Israeli civilians, government offices, MDA and the Israeli Police in various fields and will continue to support them as necessary
19 dead, 4,831 cases; 39,670 Israelis in quarantine, including 3,489 medical professionals – 758 doctors and 1,299 nurses. To date, 160,961 Israelis have been isolated.
News Jpost: Some 1,000 IDF troops from the Homefront Command have started distributing food and other necessities to the elderly and other at-risk populations. New restrictions on public prayer and in workplaces took effect in Israel at 5pm on Tuesday as part of ongoing efforts to counter the spread of coronavirus. Israel Prime Minister: “In the directives to the public we are issuing we are further restricting public gathering. There will be no gatherings of more than 2 people who are not from the same nuclear family. Having prohibited prayers in synagogues, prayers in the public sphere are now prohibited as well.”
TOI: A proposal by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett to have Military Intelligence and the controversial private intelligence firm NSO Group assist the government in tracking carriers of the coronavirus, in an effort to better predict outbreaks, appeared to be dead in the water following a discussion on the matter in the Knesset Monday
Report: 27 respirators, 8 million masks arrived in Israel in joint operation of MoH and PM and Mossad and MoD and IDF.
IDF: As of mid day of Tuesday, approximately 600 IDF commanders and soldiers from training bases will start assisting the Israeli Police to implement the Ministry of Heath’s and the government’s restrictions amongst civilians by preforming patrols, isolating and securing areas, blocking routes and more. The relevant troops underwent dedicated preparations to operate in civilian environments, led by the IDF Ground Forces and the Behavioral Science Department in the Manpower Directorate. The commanders and soldiers were introduced to the characteristics of the mission, the challenges it holds, analyzed possible scenarios and learned how to create common language and coordinate between multiple security forces. The operational protocols in civilian areas were clarified as well. Each soldier will operate paired with a police officer and will wear a badge with Israel’s flag on it. Only commanders will carry weapons. The IDF will continue assisting in the fight against the spread of the Corona virus within civilian areas as necessary, while following the Ministry of Health’s instructions.
Commander of the Golani Brigade training base, Lt. Col. Sivan Bloch, to his soldiers: “We trained you to fight against enemies in Lebanon, Syria, the Judea and Samaria area and Gaza. This time, you fight against a slightly different enemy- the Corona virus. We must perform this mission with the highest quality and in the most professional way we can. This is our duty. You are now in a civilian environment, Tiberias, Afula, Rosh Pinna. You are about to assist police officers preform their mission and your presence enables us to enhance the number of police officers and by that making sure that Israeli civilians follow the instructions. This is our part of the combat against the spread of Corona virus”. Commander of the Border Protection Array training base, Lt. Col. Ido Saad: “Following significant preparations over the past few days, we are ready to perform the IDF’s most important mission- defending Israel’s citizens. We will continue to operate as necessary to restore the civilian routine in the country as fast and best as we possibly can”.
MoD: The DDR&D in the Fight Against the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Radar System (see report) with Electro-optical Sensors Will be Used to Monitor Patients’ Vital Signs The National Emergency Team of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), in the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), has adapted two systems developed by defense industries Elbit and IAI, to measure the vital signs of patients. The data, including pulse, respiratory rate and temperature, are measured remotely using a combination of radar and electro-optical sensors, thus reducing the risk of infection to medical personnel. The next stage of development: screening and prioritizing patient care based on the analysis of vital data.
The National Emergency Team led by the Director of the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Dr. Dani Gold, continues to identify and develop advanced technological solutions to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In recent days, the team has successfully completed a test in which two systems were adapted to measure the vital data of patients, remotely. The systems, developed by Elbit Systems and Elta, a subsidiary of IAI, use an array of radar and electro-optical sensors. The team has two medical advisors, Dr. Yossi Shaya and Dr. Akiva Esterson of the Beilinson – Rabin Medical Center.
The vital signs measured using the system will be displayed on a monitor for the physician to review. In addition, the data is displayed in a graphic user interface that facilitates decision-making processes. The system will enable medical staff to remain in a sterile environment, and limit contact with the patient, thereby significantly reducing the risk of infection.
The goal of the test was to determine the systems’ reliability and accessibility. As a result of the test, plans are underway for the implementation of these systems in medical centers. The test was conducted in collaboration with Elbit, Elta Petah Tikva, EchoCare Technologies, Vayyar, Neteera, Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson and Sharon Hospitals), the Directorate of Research and Development in the DDR&D, led by Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, Dr. Yoni Savir of the Technion and additional research groups from the academic community and the IDF.
Col. A, DDR&D in the Ministry of Defense: “The combination of the technological capabilities of the defense industries and the extraordinary capabilities of the officers in the DDR&D, enables us to adapt systems developed for security purposes, to fulfill medical needs in light of the corona virus. The system that we have adapted is based on radar and thermal cameras and can measure patients’ vital signs remotely. ”
Dr. Yossi Shaya, Beilinson Medical Center: The DDR&D turned to us with the idea of monitoring patients using radar. These are systems that we don’t normally work with, but they asked us what our needs are, in the hope that these systems may be adapted to fulfill them. They asked what vital signs should be monitored among Corona patients, at the point of diagnosis and during treatment – and aimed to do so without the involvement of medical staff. The idea is that our medical teams are at the forefront of this fight and should be protected, and the way to do so is to reduce direct contact with Corona patients. Thanks to the creative thinking of the DDR&D, of using technology that is normally used against [Israel’s] enemies, I hope we will be able to win in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.”
Yossi Cohen, VP CTO, Elbit Systems: “We are delighted to take part in the effort to develop new technological solutions that will contribute to the fight against the Corona virus. We will continue to harness groundbreaking technological capabilities developed in the company to assist the efforts of the Ministry of Defense, medical centers and local authorities.
Yoav Tourgeman, IAI VP and Elta CEO: “IAI is proud to be part of the national effort to fight the COVID-19 virus. Elta’s advanced radar systems, which are used in routine defense activities, have been adapted to monitor the vital signs of patients and to protect medical staff. We will continue to support the national effort to find effective and innovative solutions, and together we will succeed.”
Within the framework of the National Emergency Team to combat the virus, the DDR&D staff and their partners are working to adapt technology developed for military / security needs for civilian applications. The work is done around the clock and in shifts, in order to quickly reach the implementation stage in hospitals. The system for the remote monitoring of vital signs will be added to the comprehensive toolbox that the DDR&D is developing, to quickly diagnose and identify carriers, to prevent the spread of the virus, to prevent the infection of medical staff within hospitals, and to manufacture protective gear for medical staff.
Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Statement: In Accordance with the Directive of the Minister of Defense, Naftali Bennett: The Ministry of Defense, IAI and Invoytec will Begin the Serial Production of Israeli-developed Ventilators. Minister of Defense, Naftali Bennett: “The State of Israel must develop independent capabilities in everything related to dealing with the COVID-19 virus pandemic. We cannot remain dependent on procurement from other countries. We must develop independent, advanced capabilities.”
The Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP), and the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), at the Israel Ministry of Defense, in collaboration with medical company, Inovytec, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), have completed the establishment of a first-of-its-kind production line for Ventway Sparrow ventilators. As a result, the first 30 ventilators have already been delivered to the Ministry of Health.
Due to the lack ventilators in Israel (and around the world), Raanana-based Inovytec, which specializes in the production of emergency medical systems, together with IAI, established a production line for ventilators in accordance with the requirements of the DOPP in the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of Health. In this special operation led by the DDR&D, a production line for Ventway Sparrow ventilation systems was set up within days. This morning, the production line was inaugurated in the classified missile production department of IAI, after which dozens of ventilators were tested and assembled.
The Ventway Sparrow is a state-of-the-art, turbine-powered, lightweight, easy-to-use ventilator that enables effective invasive and non-invasive mechanical ventilation for both adults and children. The ventilator has been tested for compliance with the most stringent medical standards and is currently used in hospitals and emergency medical centers in Israel and around the world. It provides life-sustaining respiratory care for patients in various conditions, including patients diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.
IAI has allocated its brightest minds, and a special area in its missile production line, for the purpose of producing ventilators. The production line has been built to expand the production of Ventway Sparrow machines in a short time frame. The company’s missile and aerospace engineers have committed to the mission and are engaged in the required assessments for serial production of the ventilator. All the parties involved are facing challenges in the international chain of supply, and dealing with record demand and difficulty in purchasing components. As a result, all of the relevant bodies in the State of Israel have joined forces in order to achieve what is needed for the production of these crucial ventilators.
Deputy Director General and Head of the Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP), at the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), Avi Dadon: Once we were assigned the task of acquiring and producing a maximum number of ventilators in a short period of time, we saw the immediate mobilization of the local industry. A high-tech medical company, working with the excellent defense industry, and the Ministry of Defense, has been able to deliver an advanced production line that already issued dozens of advanced ventilators – within just a few days. We are at the beginning of the road and in the coming weeks, we will accelerate production rates even further.”
Director of the DDR&D in IMoD, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Dr. Dani Gold: “Turning a missile production line into a ventilator assembly plant is a very complex task, made possible by the collaboration between the Ministry of Defense and the defense industry. We are continuing in the race around the clock to translate the extraordinary tech capabilities of the defense establishment, to the fight against corona.” Inovytec CEO, Udi Kantor: “The collaboration with IAI and with the Ministry of Defense is amazing at this time and it allows us to multiply our production capabilities and supply ventilators in the shortest possible time frame. We are operating in a challenging time, and in a global ‘war’ to acquire the necessary components and fulfill our mission.”
General Manager and Executive VP of IAI Systems, Missiles & Space Group, Boaz Levy: “IAI and the Ministry of Defense, are proud to join Inovytec to manufacture ‘blue-and-white’ [locally-produced] ventilators for the State of Israel. We are an industry that develops some of the world’s most advance defense systems for the benefit of the State of Israel and our clients worldwide, and have been tasked with manufacturing medical systems – a field which we have only recently started to discover. The best minds in the field of missiles, aviation and space joined Inovytec, under the auspices of the Ministries of Defense and Health, and together we have established – in just a few days – an advanced production line for ventilators. We take pride in the ability to produce fast, unique and innovative solutions that meet current needs.” Inovytec specializes in developing and marketing innovative solutions in emergency medicine. The company’s products are used in Israel and around the world, for both civilian and military purposes. The production line was established in the IAI production headquarters which have been used to produce some of the most advanced defense systems, including the Arrow 2 and 3 weapon systems, advanced satellite systems such as observation satellites, satellite launchers and the Beresheet spacecraft. IAI is a national and global hub for radar, satellite, aviation and cyber technology
Ministry of Defense statement to me, asked if this is an unprecedented level of activity: I would say the role is essential in the national effort to fight the corona crisis. On one hand there is of course the production and procurement aspect, but on the other there is a totally new contribution led by the DDR&D, which is managing an inter-institutional initiative to come up with high-tech solutions for various parts of the fight (diagnosis, preventing further spread, protecting medical personnel, etc.). This initiative, which we are calling The National Emergency Team is basically working with partners in the private and public sectors to adapt defense tech to fulfill all the needs of the Ministry of health and medical personnel at the forefront of the national effort.
IDF (Tuesday) the IDF began expanding its civil aid assistance, paying special attention to the elderly population at risk across Israel. The assistance will be given according to the needs defined by government offices. In coordination with local authorities, the Home Front Command will assist the elderly in order to reduce their exposure to the virus and to prevent the spread of the virus.
At this stage, 1,000 IDF soldiers from various units will be deployed according to their geographical location. Each officer and four soldiers will be assigned to a housing area. The IDF will assist approximately 200 such housing areas. The units will assist in various ways, such as providing information suited to the population’s needs in different languages, assisting with food distribution according to the authority’s requirements, implementing the Ministry of Health’s guidelines and restrictions, assisting in different incidents and providing additional services that may be required (medicine, social security etc.).
The Home Front Command continues to take extensive actions to provide assistance in various fields to the government offices, MDA and the civilian population in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. In addition, soldiers from the Search and Rescue Brigade in the Home Front Command will help supply food, in cooperation with the Technological and Logistics Directorate, to the groups defined by the local authorities.
News: Israel ranks first in safe countries amid pandemic.
Chief of Staff Kochavi enters self-quarantine, he met a reservist 10 days ago who tested positive. One of the commanders in reserve service was also diagnosed today with the Coronavirus, he had met Kochavi days before.
Jpost: “There are only 2,864 ventilators available in Israel, including those that belong to the Israel Defense Forces, for what are expected to be 5,000 critically ill coronavirus patients who require artificial respiration.”…It was revealed last week that the Health Ministry was aware as early as January 20 that the coronavirus was likely to penetrate Israel but took little action…This number is added to the 800 to 900 units that Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov said could be obtained from the army to reach the nearly 3,000 ventilators now available.
MoD: The DDR&D in the Fight Against the Pandemic: The “Maya” Sticker, Developed for Military Purposes, will Upgrade Face Masks and Protect Medical Staff. The National Emergency Team in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), headed by Brig. Gen. (Res.), Dr. Dani Gold, has decided to adopt the development made by Prof. Eyal Zussman of the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering- a unique sticker that may be attached to a face mask, in order to increase its protective capabilities. The adaptation of this tool for current needs, was made in collaboration with the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya (northern Israel). This advanced addition will render masks more effective and reduce the risk of contagion among medical staff.
Head of the Nanoengineering Lab at the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Prof. Eyal Zussman, and his team have developed a unique sticker, which may be attached to a standard surgical mask in order to improve its effectiveness. The sticker is produced using a 3D printer, and is composed of nanoscale fibers coated with disinfectants – a mechanism that enhances the capture and neutralization of nanoscale particles. The sticker was developed in collaboration with the scientists of the Department of Chemistry and Biological Infrastructure in the DDR&D, led by the department’s head Dr. Dan Greenstein, and accompanied by Prof. Samer Srouji, Director of the Oral Surgery Institute at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.
The Ministry of Health has given its initial approval of the sticker and in the coming days, a pilot will begin at the Galilee Medical Center to assess the medical staff’s implementation of the new tool. Dr. Masad Barhum, Director of the Galilee Medical Center, thanked the Ministry of Defense and the Technion for the fruitful cooperation, and expressed his hope that the use of this sticker will reduce the incidence of infection among medical teams.
Prof. Srouji, Galilee Medical Center: “The solution at hand is accessible, fast, and uses advanced technology. We hope that the success of this pilot will lead to the implementation of this solution in additional hospitals across the country.” The “Maya” sticker joins a comprehensive set of tools developed and adapted by the DDR&D to combat the COVID-19 virus on every level: rapid diagnosis and early detection of virus carriers, curbing the spread of the virus, monitoring patients and preventing the infection of medical professionals.
The National Emergency Team led by the Director of the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Dr. Dani Gold, continues to identify and develop advanced technological solutions to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The DDR&D staff and their partners are working in all areas of research and development to adapt technology developed for military/defense purposes, for civilian needs in light of the global pandemic. The work is done around the clock and in shifts, in order to quickly reach the implementation stage in hospitals.
IDF: (Sunday), the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, visited the Tel Hashomer base at the Information and Knowledge Plant and the Control Center of Tests of the Intelligence Directorate. The visit was accompanied by the head of the Intelligence Directorate, Maj. Gen. Tamir Haiman, and other commanders. During the visit, the Chief of the General Staff spoke to senior personnel in the Ministry of Health and discussed the main activities of the Intelligence Directorate and the Technology and Logistics Directorate in assisting civilians at this time. Among the participants in the meeting were Y, The Commanding Officer of the Special Operations Unit, Brig. Gen. A, Head of the technology arena in the Research Division, Col. N., Director of the Clalit Research Institute, Professor Ran Blitzer, Head of the Health Service Center Professor Sigal Sadecki and Director of the Medical Technologies, Information and Research Division, Dr. Osnat Luxenbourg.
As part of the meeting, the Chief of the General Staff examined the work of the information and knowledge enterprise, which is a multidisciplinary organization led by the Research Division and Unit 8200. The organization operates under the Ministry of Health and attempts to create a wide database on which advanced capabilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning will be used. This is done in order to get answers to questions raised by the Ministry of Health and the Home Front Command.
The Chief of the General Staff met and spoke with soldiers serving in the Technological Unit in the Intelligence Directorate and the Special Operations Unit on the subject of the development of respirators in cooperation with the Sheba Tel Hashomer Hospital, based on standard respirators. Afterwards, he was presented with the unit’s work of creating protective masks for medical teams from which more than 7,000 masks have been transferred to be used by the IDF. In addition, the unit also continues to transform ambulances into adapted vehicles for coronavirus patients’ evacuation, through unique production and protection of the interior of the vehicle.
Bennett calls for defense establishment to lead on coronavirus fight. Jpost:Called on the government to transfer the responsibility of fighting the coronavirus from the Health Ministry to the IDF and defense establishment, as he released an exit plan from the virus, which has had a significant impact on the economy. “We are in a war,” he said Sunday. “The IDF is a bulldozer and that’s what we need to fight against this virus. “The Health Ministry has not been built for this kind of emergency. They are smart, good and dedicated professionals, but the ministry specializes in healthcare, not emergencies and logistics. Therefore, I am convinced that the responsibility for establishing and operating the testing system must be transferred to the security system.” He advocated enabling most of population to return to normal activities after Passover and isolating the worst cases or areas.
The IDF will deploy 500 soldiers to accompany police to enforce Health Ministry regulations. As part of the IDF’s preparations for the extended stay by troops, 400 washing machines and 400 dryers have been delivered to bases across the country as well as thousands of uniforms, sleeping bags, mattresses, folding beds, bunk beds and personal hygiene kits for men and women.
PM Netanyahu: “Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that if there is no improvement in the rate of infection in the next two days, there will be no alternative but to impose a lockdown. The new plans to tighten restrictions on movement will be presented to the PM and ministers over the next 48 hours.”
IDF: Following a request made by the Israel Police and in accordance with the situation assessment and the government’s approval, The IDF is preparing to allocate approximately 500 soldiers in order to assist the Israel Police with its mission. The troops will be allocated in light of the instructions issued by the government and the Ministry of Health in order to limit the spread of the Corona Virus, and will take place starting from Sunday, March 29th, 2020. One company of soldiers, coming from various training bases of field units, will be allocated to each district of the Israel Police. The troops will be assigned to police officers and will assist with their teams in patrolling, isolating and securing certain areas, blocking routes and additional similar assignments. The troops will be properly trained for their mission and prepared to operate amongst civilians. The IDF will continue assisting in the fight against the spread of the Corona virus within civilian areas as necessary, while following the Ministry of Health’s instructions
“The IDF continues in its efforts to limit the spread of the Corona virus, and works in cooperation with government ministries and other organizations with the aim of assisting the Israeli civilians, preventing infection among IDF service members and maintaining functional and operational abilities of the IDF. The Home Front Command continues in its widespread assistance to various government ministries, MDA and civilians as well as local municipalities in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading.”
Arrivals from infected countries must go to quarantine.
Mossad brings another 400,000 test kits to Israel.
News: New restrictions announced, public transport to be cut by an additional 25%, effectively shutting it down
MoD: The National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), in the Israel Ministry of Defense and its American Counterpart, FEMA, Have Established a Cooperation Mechanism to Fight the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic. Last night (24/03/2020), the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), in the Israel Ministry of Defense, and its American counterpart, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), held their first joint discussion. The conference call was held together with representatives of the health ministries of both countries, the National Security Council (NSC), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The discussion resulted in the decision to establish a joint working group and knowledge-exchange mechanism in light of the fight against the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
On the Israeli side, the conversation was led by the Head of the Cooperation and Assistance Unit in NEMA, Mr. Kobi Wimisberg, Director of the International Department of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ashi Shalmon, and the Head of the Foreign Policy Department in the NSC, Dr. Avner Golov. The American team included representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This discussion was part of the international cooperation initiative led by NEMA
Some of the topics that were discussed: curbing the spread of the virus, vaccination, issues related to quarantine, assisting the elderly population, emotional support, returning to routine activity, and economic rehabilitation. In addition, representatives from both countries exchanged information about the challenges they face.
The discussion also touched on potential areas of cooperation between the United States and Israel, and on the establishment of a mechanism of ongoing exchange and discourse.
NEMA is the institution within the Ministry of Defense that defines the national strategy, policy and principles in confronting national emergencies. It is also the body responsible for areas of international cooperation in times of national emergency.
The Israeli Defense Forces and the defense establishment will take responsibility for the care of Israel’s elderly population during the coronavirus crisis, the Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday. “The IDF and the Ministry of Defense are taking responsibility for protecting the elderly population of the State of Israel,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said.
IDF: (Tuesday), the IDF Coronavirus Detection Laboratory opened at the Tzrifin Military Rabbinate Base, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. The laboratory is capable of testing hundreds of coronavirus samples per day. Samples will be collected by a dedicated staff consisting of the Military Police, the Logistics Corps and the Medical Corps. In order to operate the lab, a dedicated branch has been established at the “MiKol HaLev” call center. Soldiers suffering from symptoms may turn to the center for advice. This move is part of the IDF’s efforts in the fight against the coronavirus and is one of the steps taken by the Medical Corps and the Military Rabbinate in order to maintain the operational capabilities of the IDF. This is part of the national assistance effort that the IDF is currently providing to the civilian health care system. The Surgeon General of the IDF Medical Corps, Brig. Gen. Dr. Tarif Bader: “We are proud of the effort to convert the DNA lab into a laboratory capable of coronavirus detection. This is thanks to the hard work of IDF Medical Corps professionals. This move makes a significant contribution to the ability of the Medical Corps to respond to IDF needs during this epidemic as well as contributes to IDF capabilities.”
Chief Military Rabbi, Brig. Gen. Eyal Karim: “The Military Rabbinate is the body that is trusted in routine times and times of emergency to process our fallen soldiers and identify their bodies. As such, the DNA Laboratory at the Military Rabbinate base was established as an advanced addition to existing capabilities. Two weeks ago, we identified the potential to convert the lab and its machinery into a lab to identify the coronavirus. We will continue to assist in any task required during these complex days.”
MoD: Artificial intelligence based voice test. A test that will begin in the coming days will sample the voices of carriers and patients diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, using a mobile application developed by Israeli start-up, Vocalis Health. These voice samples will be analyzed using an AI-based algorithm in order to identify the unique vocal ‘fingerprint’ of carriers and patients. This information will be useful in both early diagnosis and in the monitoring of patients to detect the deterioration or improvement in their health.
The National Emergency Team led by the Director of the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Dr. Dani Gold, continues to identify and develop advanced technological solutions to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The team is currently conducting a trial with Israeli start-up Vocalis Health, founded by Mr. Tal Wendrow and Dr. Shady Hassan. The company is developing an artificial intelligence-based platform that tracks and monitors health issues through voice sampling in order to detect virus symptoms related to the patient’s respiratory system.
This voice test is the result of collaboration between the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), in the Ministry of Defense, Israeli start-up Vocalis Health from aMoon venture fund, Rabin and Sheba Medical Centers, Afeka Academic Center and additional research groups from the academic community and the IDF.
Within the framework of the study, voice recordings will be collected from carriers, patients and the general public via a mobile application. These recordings will then undergo data analysis using neural networks. The purpose of this study is to develop a unique algorithm based on machine learning and sound characteristics in order to make initial medical assessments and in order to monitor the symptoms and conditions of patients. The advantage of this monitoring system is that it can be conducted from afar, in order to prevent the spread of the disease and overburdening of the national healthcare system. The research is conducted in collaboration with medical institutions in Israel and abroad, including the Sheba and Rabin Medical Centers, Beilinson and Sharon hospitals, the Directorate of R&D in the DDR&D, led by Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem in IMoD, academic institutions such as the Afeka College of Engineering, and the IDF. Preliminary results of the study are expected within 4-6 weeks.
News: Israel IDF prepares for lockdown.Twenty-three soldiers are sick with coronavirus, and one recovered, Zilberman said. Another 5,600 soldiers and civilian employees of the IDF are in quarantine, including 240 lone soldiers who are being housed at a military resort facility in Givat Olga. The military will be opening another quarantine facility for lone soldiers at Beit Hahayal in Kiryat Shmona, Ynet reported.
PM Netanyahu “Alongside the overall efforts to increase equipment, in the next two weeks approximately 1,000 additional hospital beds will be made available for intensive care and enhanced treatment, which will place Israel in a high position relative to the world.”
IDF: During the past week, IDF soldiers and commanders have been participating in a blood drive in order to meet the goal set by the Chief of the General Staff: 7,000 blood transfusions.
News, Jpost: On Sunday, officials from the Health Ministry told KAN that the Defense Ministry under Bennett was trying to take control of the country’s efforts to deal with the pandemic in an attempt to gain political credit…With the militaries of neighboring countries imposing coronavirus lockdowns, the Public Security Ministry has asked the IDF to provide 16 battalions to help the police enforce a nationwide quarantine should one be imposed.
PM Netanyahu: “In Israel, the number of deaths could reach many thousands. We are in a better situation than these countries because we made the decision to close our borders. What I’m trying to do is detect, isolate and treat the sick. There are economic, livelihood, subsistence problems. At the same time, I want to free up those who are healthy. To locate those who are ill we are using digital means,” he said.
IDF: The Chief of the General Staff also visited the “MiKol HaLev” center, which is playing a major role in the efforts made in order to prepare the IDF in facing the Corona virus, there he learned about implementing the instructions, and the actions and challenges of the people who serve there.
Alongside the preparations, the new soldiers were recruited today under the instructions and procedures meant to prevent the spread of the virus. In addition, various adjustments were made in the various training bases in which new recruits arrived. The Golani Brigade training base prepared, among other aspects, for the recruitment of new soldiers, by moving the other soldiers training in the base to the “Elyakim” Command Training Base.This in order to reduce the number of those staying there and maximizing separation between those remaining at the base and the new recruits. In addition, the reception of soldiers in the brigade training base was conducted in two large open tents as a substitute for office reception.
IDF: Following the spread of the Corona virus, actions regarding a lockdown have been enforced in Germany leading to hotels being shut down. Subsequently, today (Sunday), approximately 30 combat troops of the Israeli Navy in mandatory service were returned from Germany to Israel by a designated IAF delegation. The delegation consisted of 16 aircrew members on an IAF KC-707 (“Re’em”) cargo plane.
The troops recently stayed in Germany as part of their role as crew members of the “Sa’ar 6” Israeli Navy ship, expected to arrive in Israel later this year. The troops will immediately go into quarantine upon their return, in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health. Service members in professional service working on the project will continue their work in the shipyard in Germany in order to qualify the ships and the crews.
News: Israel closes two largest outdoor markets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
IDF: The IDF continues the efforts to prepare for and combat the spread of the Corona virus and operates in cooperation with government offices and other organizations in order to assist the civilian population and to prevent contamination among IDF service members, while preserving operational capabilities. The Home Front Command continues its efforts to provide assistance in many fields to various government offices, to Magen David Adom (MDA) and to the civilian population in the efforts to prevent the Corona virus from spreading. Yesterday (Friday), approximately 40 combat troops from the Search and Rescue Brigade and the Jerusalem and Central Home Front Command Districts, assisted the local authorities in evacuating and sanitizing a hostel in the city of Gedera in which a staff member was diagnosed with the Corona virus. The teams sanitized the hostel, while allowing quarantine for the civilians living in it without causing panic or affecting their routine.
The IDF and the Home Front Command will assist as needed in the national mission to prevent the spread of the virus. The commander of the “Shahar” Battalion, Lt. Col. Idan Parkin: “This week, the troops participated in an exercise that included providing help to the public during emergencies. A short while after, they were required to operate in an incident like that in real time. Approximately 40 troops arrived at the hostel and re-organized it in order to quarantine the civilians. They sanitized the building effectively while remaining sensitive in working with a special needs population. I’m proud of the troops who are doing their job thoroughly and professionally. This is an additional proof that the Home Front Command is prepared to assist at any time and place as needed.”
Over the weekend, the IDF has opened the recovery-village in the Yahad Lemaan Hahayal Recreation Resort in Ashkelon. The facility started to receive patients in moderate condition. Lt. Col. Oshrat Gozlan, commander of the recovery village and Head Nurse in the IDF: “The first patients were admitted and housed in their rooms. They are all feeling well and we are monitoring them continuously. The IDF Medical Corps and the logistics teams are prepared and ready to treat all IDF service members, as needed”.
IDF: We would like to emphasize that as long as the public transport continues, IDF service members should use it. The IDF is prepared to establish a national transport array if required.
IDF: As part of the IDF’s efforts to fight the Corona virus and in order to prevent and reduce its spread among its soldiers, the Yahad Lemaan Hahayal recreation resort in Ashkelon, has recently been converted into a recovery-village, which will serve as a facility for sick soldiers in mandatory and professional service. The conversion of the resort was led by Yahad Lemaan Hahayal and the IDF Medical Corps. The recovery-village opened its gates today (Friday) and will start receiving patients. The patients will be accompanied throughout their stay by a doctor and a nurse whom they can contact through a special app. Each patient will receive a personalized medical kit that will track their rate of recovery. In addition, an area has been established in the recovery village where it will be possible to move freely according to protocols. The Surgeon General of the IDF Medical Corps, Brig. Gen. Dr. Tarif Bader: “The Medical Corps is prepared to provide the best response to IDF soldiers in all conditions and is implementing our responsibility to our soldiers’ health, alongside contributing to the national medical effort.”
MoD: The DDR&D in the Israel Ministry of Defense Established an Interinstitutional and Multidisciplinary National Emergency Team to Address the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic
The team, led by Director of the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Dr. Dani Gold, is focusing on several areas of development: quick diagnosis and early detection of virus carriers, prevention of virus transmission and subsequent infection of large portions of the population, medical monitoring and prevention of infection within hospitals, and manufacturing protective equipment for medical staff.
The team is using advanced technology, both civilian and military, to develop the aforementioned capabilities. This includes the use of big data, artificial intelligence, command and control systems, various sensors and mobile technology.
Minister of Defense, Naftali Bennett: “Today we are establishing an ‘elite unite’ that will identify and develop advanced technology to fight the spread of the Corona virus. Our aim is to always be one step ahead of Corona, in order to ‘flatten the curve’. We are operating in several areas, and we will do so continuously. The national emergency team will have all the assistance and resources necessary at its disposal, so that we can find a solution for the difficult pandemic that we are experiencing. Together we will overcome this crisis.” The Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), in the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), has established an inter-institutional and multidisciplinary team to identify, develop and implement new technological solutions and concepts that will contribute to the national effort of curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The team is led by the Director of the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Dr. Dani Gold, and includes experts from dozens of institutions including the Ministry of Health, National Security Council, Ministry of Finance, Prime Minister’s Office, IDF, Innovation Authority, various hospitals, defense industries, startup companies, think tanks and academic institutions. Solutions are being tested in order to achieve the following capabilities: immediate diagnosis and detection of virus carriers from afar, use of mobile technology to map the routes of carriers (especially within hospitals and medical institutions), in order isolate carriers and prevent the infection of medical staff and others, manufacturing protective equipment for medical staff, development and production of ventilators, sanitization of various surfaces and spaces, and more.
Director of the DDRD in IMoD, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Dr. Dani Gold: “The brightest minds in the country, from all the various sectors, are committed and working around the clock in order to identify and develop the technological solutions that will contribute to the national effort to cope with the corona pandemic. We hope to share good news with the State of Israel, as soon as possible.”
News: Mossad brings 100,000 test kits to Israel, some questions raised after about missing components.
MoD: The Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), is purchasing 2500 ventilators on behalf of the Ministry of Health. The procurement totals over NIS 50 million. This evening (19.03), 24 hours since the start of the procurement of medical equipment, the Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP), in IMoD has issued initial orders to procure 2,500 ventilators. Of these, 1000 systems will be manufactured in Israel, and an additional 1500 will be brought from abroad. The procurement totals over NIS 50 million, and has been placed in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Health. The Directorate of Production and Procurement and the Ministry of Health are partners in the national effort to respond to this crisis and provide for the citizens of the State of Israel. The DOPP has recruited the unit responsible for international transport and transit within the Ministry, to aid in the delivery of the equipment to Israel. The initial delivery of the equipment is expected to begin in approximately one month and a half, and will continue into the coming months. The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health will continue to identify and procure additional equipment as the needs evolve.
PM Netanyahu: “Now, as part of the discipline effort, I will ask something else of you. Yesterday we defined who needs to go to work and who does not. Whoever does not need to go to work, according to the instructions issued, I ask you not to leave your homes and stay inside as much as possible.”
IDF: (Wednesday), the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, visited the Home Front Command, along with the Commanding Officer of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai, the Commanding Officer of the Manpower Directorate, Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz and other commanders. During the visit, the Home Front Command presented the main efforts that are being made in order to assist Israeli civilians, including the health system, organizing assistance to hospitals, Magen David Adom, information campaigns, preparing local authorities for emergencies and more. The Chief of the General Staff spoke with soldiers from the Home Front Command that are manning the call center, which will soon be open for the benefit of Israeli civilians. Later, he visited the Joint Information Center of the Home Front Command and MDA. As part of the tour, he was briefed about the challenges the soldiers in mandatory and reserve service who are manning the center face. The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi: “This is an emergency time and the IDF adjusts its activity to fit its needs and the requirements of the state, and you are a great example of that. The IDF is already working in a number of areas in order to assist, and will continue to work on any required task. All IDF soldiers are required to prepare for further developments – as always, we will be ready for every mission. Your role in assisting the civilians directly affects the ability of the State of Israel to cope with the spread of the virus.”
News: 1,500 reservists approved to fight the virus.
MoD: In accordance with the directive of Defense Minister, Naftali Bennett, to promote the use of hotel facilities as recovery centers for patients diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, the Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP), has issued a call for the use of additional hotels across the country. This is a pre-tender, public appeal intended for all hotels and suitable facilities that meet the requirements detailed in the application. The Ministry of Defense requires details on the nature and availability of the assets by March 18th, 2020.
IDF: In accordance with the instructions of the Minister of Defense, the Home Front Command and the Ministry of Defense launched the first hotel aimed to host for Coronavirus patients in light condition. The hotel will open at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv under the management and command of a senior reserve officer operating under the Home Front districts. Later in the week another hotel is expected to open at the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem. This morning, logistical-medical equipment was made available for use by the medical staff staying at the facility. The hotel will include a separated situation room to allow the coordination between the medical services as well as medical surveillance teams to the hotel management team and the Israel Police, whose role is to enforce the entry to the facility. The admission of patients will be done by coordination and written referral of the Kupot Holim (HMO’s). An unauthorized entry will not be allowed. Medical treatment is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and HMO’s. The Home Front Command’s logistics and medical arrays have assisted in preparing the hotels for guest reception. In the first stage, only 20 patients will be accommodated in the hotel, and subsequently the amount will be expanded as needed and possible.
IDF readies hotels to take coronavirus patients. Head of the military’s Home Front Command on Monday said his unit was preparing to open a Tel Aviv hotel that it converted into a quarantine facility for coronavirus carriers who have only light symptoms. Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai said that Tel Aviv’s Dan Panorama Hotel would open for patients on Tuesday morning, followed hours later by Jerusalem’s Dan Hotel (formerly the Hyatt)
MoD: On Sunday (15/03), the employee of a company providing services to the Ministry of Defense, located in a facility in Petah Tikva, was diagnosed as a carrier of the COVID-19 virus. The employee has been admitted to a hospital, and following an epidemiological investigation carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, his colleagues were instructed to begin a period of quarantine.
There are currently no additional restrictions for employees in the building. The Ministry of Defense is working to sanitize the facility where the affected employee was working, in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.
News: According to Defense Minister Bennett, the facilities, either hotels or empty boarding schools, will be able to hold 3,000 patients.
News: Israel’s domestic security agency, the Shin Bet, initially denied a report Tuesday that it would use technological means to help enforce self-isolation…The security service will use location data to send messages ordering self-quarantine to anyone who was in vicinity of an infected person.
March 12: Israel closes schools;
March 14: Israel to shut most businesses for five weeks
News: Israel extends quarantine orders to all arrivals
Israel Israelis who attended conferences abroad and returned into quarantine