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Bennett visits IDF coronavirus headquarters as fourth COVID wave grows

CM 10/08/2021

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited the Home Front Command’s “Alon” Coronavirus Command Center headquarters on Tuesday. 
The center was set up in August last year in order to lead the effort to conduct epidemiological investigations and cut off chains of infections.Bennett was joined by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Ori Gordin and other top officers. 
During the visit, Bennett held a situational assessment and was briefed on the Alon headquarters’ activity, with an emphasis on its collaborations with regional councils as part of the effort to cut off chains of infection.At the visit, Bennett said, “Israel is in the midst of a battle against the Delta variant that is spreading all over the world. As in every battle, the IDF’s commanders and soldiers are leading the way along with health experts in this specific case, and are doing an outstanding job on all fronts – in vaccinations, COVID tests, and epidemiological investigations.

“I would like to praise the IDF’s dedicated and professional activity,” he added. “600,000 Israeli citizens over the age of 60 have already been vaccinated with the third vaccine, more than 50%, and this is a big success. Whoever has not done so yet – go to receive your vaccine.”9 out of 10 COVID patients in serious condition are over the age of 50. I am asking all citizens over the age of 50 to be very careful during the next few weeks. Israel is at this point the only country to provide its older population with booster shots. The shots are safe and effective. Whoever has not yet received it, do so immediately, as it can save your life,” he said.
“Please God, we will continue fighting the Delta variant together. We are working extremely hard in order to tilt the graphs downwards with minimum harm or restrictions,” he concluded.
The command center was scheduled to be shut down on August 1st, but the closure was canceled due to the spread of the Delta variant in recent weeks.  At its peak, it had some 3,000 soldiers and volunteers trained as epidemiological trackers and could conduct up to 6,000 investigations per day.
According to Ha’aretz, the command center has been unable to keep up with the rising rate of infections, based on data about epidemiological investigations that it carried out between August 5th-7th.  The center deemed epidemiological investigations of people over 60 and people returning from abroad as a top priority but succeeded in investigating 90% of the former and 64% of the latter.Tenants and workers at retirement homes and nursing homes were deemed second priority, and 77% of these cases were investigated.The center only managed to investigate 31% of all other cases. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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