Interior Minister Arye Dery and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett ordered on Thursday to evacuate some 4,500 elderly people aged 80 and over from Bnei Brak to a hotel outside of the city in order to protect them from the rapid spread of coronavirus in the city.
The elderly will be moved to a designated hotel operated by the IDF Home Front Command. The rest of the city's elderly population, aged 60-80, will remain in strict home quarantine.
The number of coronavirus patients in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city is nearing 1000 with at least 900 confirmed diagnoses so far, as ultra-Orthodox cities continue to record the sharpest rises in new COVID-19 cases, health officials said Thursday.
The Cabinet was set on Thursday to discuss via video conference further restrictions on the city.
Also on Thursday, the IDF announced it is preparing to deploy the 98th Division to Bnei Brak to assist residents during the lockdown on the area.
The military said the troops will not enforce the restrictions, but will instead serve under the Home Front Command to distribute food, medicine, and other services to the residents of the Tel Aviv suburb.
These several hundred soldiers are currently undergoing training for the assignment.
In total the military has 12,000 soldiers who assist in the battle against coronavirus — responding to civilians' questions on hotlines, distributing food and medicine to the elderly and disabled, driving medics to perform tests, and operating quarantine facilities across the country.
First published: 18:53 , 04.02.20