Du Wei, the Chinese ambassador to Israel who was found dead in his apartment in Herzliya, died due to cardiac arrest, the police confirmed Sunday.
Du was found in his bed by his housekeeper after the ambassador failed to attend breakfast.
Police forensics investigators arrived at the scene to begin their investigation and transfer the body for an autopsy at the National Center of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv.
Ambassador Du began his tenure in Israel in February in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic and remained in home isolation for two weeks in accordance with the Health Ministry's regulations. He is survived by a wife and son, both of whom are not in the country.
Du had posted a message of encouragement to Israelis shortly after taking on the post, which was published on the Chinese Embassy's official Facebook page. "The world is engulfed in a major challenge of pandemic and Israel is impacted," said the statement.
According to Foreign Ministry’s procedures when an ambassador dies at his post, the ministry's chief of protocol along with the relevant division head contact the embassy to offer assistance in coordination with local authorities, and in transporting the deceased remains back home.
Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem spoke with the Deputy Chief of Mission, Dai Yuming, to express his condolences and offer any possible aid to the Chinese embassy.
On Friday the ambassador posted a message via the Chinese Embassy's website, rejecting claims made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a brief visit to Israel last week, of a Chinese government cover-up of the coronavirus spread.
The Chinese Embassy in Israel said Pompeo has been labeling Chinese products, investments, and people as security risks without producing any evidence to support his claims.
“We trust that our Jewish friends are not only able to defeat the coronavirus but also the 'political virus,' and choose the course of action that best serves its interests,” said the statement.
Because of the coronavirus restrictions and the suspension of flights to China, it is unclear when the body will be returned for burial.