Israeli military's coronavirus taskforce officially began operations on Tuesday to help the country battle the second wave of coronavirus.
The "Alon" Coronavirus Command Center, located at the Home Front Command base near the city of Ramla, will in the coming days send out approximately 2,000 soldiers to assist health officials with testing and epidemiological investigations of COVID-19 patients.
Home Front Command said it hopes to utilize the additional manpower in order to shorten the testing procedure and cut the chain of infection by receiving a diagnosis and concluding the epidemiological probe within a day and a half instead of the five days it currently takes.
The new center is headed by Brig.-Gen. Nissan Davidi who previously served as the logistics officer at the Home-Front Command.
The command center will operate as part of the nationwide project presented last week by coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu and the Health Ministry.
"Our goal is that the procedure of identifying the coronavirus carrier, beginning the isolation and concluding the epidemiological investigation would take up to 36 hours," said Home-Front Command chief Maj. Gen. Uri Gordin.
"We have learned from countries like Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea how to operate," added Gordin. "In a short time, we will have about 2,000 people who will take test samples and take part in various missions."
Regular soldiers will serve in the newly-established command center, alongside reservists whose livelihood was affected by the pandemic, and will now be employed by the state.
Epidemiological investigations will also now be conducted by representatives of Home-Front Command in municipal centers of local authorities.
“Local authorities have not been included enough in the fight against the virus," said Gordin. "Now, that will change."
The command center will utilize military technology in order to centralize the data from HMOs, Magen David Adom and the Health Ministry.
This will allow the command center to send updates to the phone of every citizen who was tested positive for the virus, as well as a questionnaire that will serve as the first step in an epidemiological investigation.
"We need to increase transparency vis-à-vis the citizen in order to equip him for the fight," said Gordin. "This is done by providing the public with an updated and clearer picture, alongside more effective awareness campaign."
Gordin added that getting the grips of the outbreak will take time, even with the command center at hand. "It will not happen tomorrow morning, but we want to reach winter with a rate of 3% infection rate and not 8% as it is today. Only then will we control the pandemic."
According to Gordin, all information collected by the army will be protected. "Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi emphasized to us one thing and we will stand by it - maintaining the privacy of the citizen with zeal and extreme care under a variety of restrictions that were set."