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Coronavirus

Israel Sets Up Three Group Recuperation Facilities for Corona Patients

Israel’s Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett ordered the establishment of three facilities in Israel’s north, center, and south, with the intention to remove non-severe infection cases from home-quarantine and lessen the risk to families

Omri Milman 16:3115.03.20

Israel’s Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett has ordered the establishment of three group recuperation facilities for non-severe coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. The facilities—one in Israel’s north, one in its center, and one in its south—are expected to be set up within a week or less and start accepting patients within the next few days, according to Bennett.

 

“Already, we are looking for locations,” Bennet said, adding that the facilities will probably be established in existing hotels, empty youth complexes, and hostels. “I want the conditions to be good. Those who are carriers and in excellent health, most of them young people, will be sent there.” He further said that people arriving at the facilities can be assured of the place being well-kept, with medical staff and an option for social interactions.

Ambulance for coronavirus patients. Photo: Shaul Golan Ambulance for coronavirus patients. Photo: Shaul Golan

 

The purpose of the facilities is to isolate carriers who are asymptomatic or have only minimal symptoms, around 80% of those infected with the coronavirus. According to Bennet, all diagnosed patients are currently hospitalized, which is both inefficient and expensive. He also criticized the current home-quarantine measures. “For carriers, it takes around five weeks in complete isolation until the virus leaves the body. There are many issues. Those who do not live in a villa but in a three-four bedroom apartment will very likely infect their family. The Chinese and South Korean experience shows that the family will get infected.” The second problem with home-quarantine, Bennet said, is terrible logistics—with 600 carriers each stuck at their own home, medical monitoring is difficult as well as getting to each individual to administer a test before they can be released, “and when they are released you need to make sure the tests are negative.”

 

The facilities are initially planned to have a 1,000-person capacity each, but the aim is to eventually reach 3,000. According to Bennett, the final decision on who to send there will be at the hands of the healthcare system. “It could be that the healthcare system will decide to send some of the carriers into home-quarantine, for example, single people or those who have large homes. We are preparing for the worst so we will not reach Italy’s situation. There, even the easiest cases get to the hospital, collapsing it.”

 

Bennett said medical staff for the facilities will not be recruited from existing doctors and that civilians who do not currently work in medicine but had previous medical training, for example in the army, might be recruited for this purpose.