Vacation days reduced for combat unit soldiers due to increase in IDF morbidity rate

With 208 IDF soldiers infected by the virus and an additional 5,000 in quarantine, soldiers' days off will be reduced to 1 in 3 weeks.

Kobi Finkler ,

Kochavi at medal-award ceremeony
Kochavi at medal-award ceremeony
IDF spokesperson

At the end of a situational assessment by the General Staff carried out Sunday evening, Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi decided to reduce home visits for combat unit soldiers to once every 21 days. The order is to go into effect Thursday.

According to data provided by the IDF's medical corps, 208 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with all the patients in light condition. Approximately 5,000 additional soldiers have been quarantined.

Chief of Staff Kochavi decided to temporarily suspend reserve troops training comprising significant amounts of soldiers. It was also decided to limit the amount of IDF staff in closed areas to a maximum of 30 individuals. IDF soldiers are to continue using public transportation including Israel's Railways Monday through Thursday, on orders of the Health Ministry.

IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Hidai Zilberman said that the Home Front Command is currently operating 11 Caronavirus Hotels and is planning to add two more if the need arises. "The IDF continues to assist MDA and IDF call centers. We have decided to allocate an additional 300 troops towards the nationwide epidemiological testing effort," he stated.

Earlier today, the Knesset’s Coronavirus Committee approved new restrictions on public activity which were drawn up last week by the government.

Under the new guidelines, scheduled to go into effect Monday at 8:00 a.m., weddings will be limited to a total of 50 people – down from 250 individuals under the current regulations.

The new regulation will also apply to synagogues, bars, and event halls, with no more than 50 people allowed in at any given time.

According to statistics released by the Health Ministry, there are currently 11,189 confirmed active cases of the coronavirus in Israel.

The number of patients in serious condition has risen to 86, including 29 on ventilators.

The death toll stands at 330, with no new fatalities reported Sunday.

“We are in the midst of a major outbreak of the coronavirus,” said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “This outbreak will lead to a doubling of the number of patients in serious condition, and that will be a serious challenge for the health care system.”