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Israel News

IDF commander’s creative solution to lower COVID numbers: Don’t get tested

CM 11/08/2021 2

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The commander of the IDF’s Givati Reconnaissance Battalion found a creative solution to ensure that coronavirus infection rates remain low among his soldiers: he stopped sending them to get tested, Ynet reported on Wednesday.
The commander ordered the officers under him to decrease the number of tests conducted as much as possible, saying “The eradication of the disease will be carried out by eradication of tests, that is, not to send people for testing (except with my and the doctor’s approval). We are in excellent condition of zero verified [cases]. Maintaining this will help the unit’s fitness and will also help us avoid unnecessary cancellations of leave.”
The orders go against IDF policy and directives, which dictate that only a medical professional can approve or deny a request to get tested, according to Ynet.
“The directive written in the announcement that soldiers should not be sent for coronavirus tests unless approved by a doctor is incorrect and contrary to orders,” said the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit to Ynet in response to the report. “The procedures have been sharpened and a revised notice will be circulated in the battalion. Soldiers’ requests for a coronavirus test are approved in accordance with the orders and in a comprehensive manner.”

Last year, the Givati Brigade came under fire for poor quarantine conditions and an outbreak of the coronavirus at the Ketziot training base. The Brigade commander at the time took a series of steps to improve the conditions of the infected and quarantined soldiers.
On Sunday, the IDF announced new COVID-19 guidelines, including a requirement to wear masks outside in gatherings of over 100 people and limiting gatherings in closed spaces to 100 people. The IDF also announced that non-vaccinated IDF personnel will not be drafted to reserves service.
On Tuesday, 866 servicemembers were infected with the novel coronavirus, with one soldier in serious condition. Some 1,619 servicemembers were in quarantine.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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