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Home Front Command’s coronavirus Task Force to end operations in August

CM 25/05/2021

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi approved a plan presented by Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir, and Home Front Command Commander, Maj.-Gen. Uri Gordin to gradually transfer epidemiological investigation authorities from the Alon Task Force headquarters and command center in Ramle to the health system, while preserving all the capabilities and knowledge accumulated by the unit, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday.
The task force headquarters will reportedly be closed completely by early August and a reserves unit will be created based on the unit, to allow greater pandemic preparedness.
“The accumulated knowledge will be used by the State of Israel and the world for decades to come in dealing with pandemics and emergencies in the home front,” Gantz said after the announcement.
“I salute the reservists, the soldiers and commanders of the IDF and the Home Front Command, and the employees of the defense establishment who took part in the hard work,” he added.

In June, the generals will meet once again for a reassessment of Israel’s coronavirus situation, wherein a final decision is expected to be made about the future of the Alon Task Force.
The Alon Task Force was established as part of the Home Front Command’s attempts to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic in the past year, working to improve the effectiveness of the epidemiological investigation system. The task force set up “coronavirus hotels” for isolated individuals and prevented an estimated 25% of coronavirus cases in Israel during its operation.
“The defense establishment has saved the lives of thousands of people in the past year as part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic,” he said. “The IDF and the Home Front Command’s entry [into Israel’s epidemiological investigation system] led to a change in the campaign against the coronavirus — establishing the most innovative epidemiological investigation center in the world, increasing tenfold the scope of testing and creating collaborations with local authorities.”

The announcement marks the beginning of the move, with over half of the workforce being discharged immediately upon the statement’s release, while the last soldiers and reservists working at the unit will be discharged by August 1 at the latest, a full year after it was established.
In early June, hundreds of IDF reservists are planned to be discharged from their duties at the task force. On June 10, the sampling and transportation division will be closed and replaced by a civilian company.
On July 1, the epidemiological investigation unit will be closed and replaced by Health Ministry investigators. The authority to run coronavirus hotels will be moving gradually from the IDF to civilian operators over the same time period.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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