Evacuating nursing home
Evacuating nursing homeCourtesy

4-5 Magen David Adom vehicles this Shabbat arrived at a nursing home in central Israel to evacuate approx. thirty residents to hospital, a source inside the nursing home said to Arutz Sheva. According to the source, another evacuation took place on Monday.

Ichilov Hospital coronavirus ward nurse Yair Rosenhaft, annexed to the nursing home where he previously worked, told Arutz Sheva that the institution had maintained zero infections among the residents for the ten months of COVID outbreak restrictions. About two weeks ago, the nursing home began vaccinating residents for COVID-19.

After about thirty residents tested COVID-19 positive, Rosenhaft was contacted by the nursing home and asked to return to help with the “crisis”. One of the residents who was evacuated to Internal COVID Ward C at Meir Kfar Saba Hospital, Natalyo Bendelman, has died, his daughter confirmed to Arutz Sheva.

A source inside the nursing home emphasized that there is no connection between the vaccination and outbreak, telling Arutz Sheva, “They were infected despite the vaccine, not because of the vaccine.”

The residents of the nursing home were vaccinated with only the first dose after which, according to the authorities, there is a very low efficacy against the virus. Even after the second dose, a patient must wait for ten days before he is seen as vaccinated and 95% immune against COVID-19.

Some of the people connected to the nursing home say that the outbreak may be a result of additional citizens who came to be vaccinated and by doing so entered the area and may have brought the virus with them, others said that it may be due to a lack of efficient coronavirus testing of the employees working in the nursing home.

The Health Ministry maintains a section on its Hebrew website dedicated to the “Magen Avot” senior citizen’s component of its COVID-19 program. The section includes a morbidity/mortality tracker with statistics from nursing homes nationwide.

The tracker had been updated until December 30th, after which date no further morbidity/mortality data are offered. The date coincides with the commencement of the vaccination program for the elderly.

The Health Ministry responded to Arutz Sheva's query and said: "The issue is being addressed and will be fixed within the next week."