Coronavirus outbreak in the IDF sends 10,000 troops and chief of staff into quarantine

Aviv Kochavi among those asked to isolate for his second time since start of outbreak; army says will not reinstate closure of bases, most of the 350 confirmed COVID-19 carriers are asymptomatic and some even well enough to train

Yoav Zitun|Updated:
A record-breaking 10,000 soldiers on active duty and civilian employees working on military bases have been ordered to quarantine as of Thursday morning after coming in contact with confirmed coronavirus carriers.
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  • Among those asked to self-isolate is the IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, who is forced to quarantine for the second time since the start of the outbreak in Israel. The army said the chief of staff feels well and does not display any symptoms.
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    בני גנץ ואביב כוכבי
    בני גנץ ואביב כוכבי
    Benny Gantz and Aviv Kochavi
    (Photo: The Defense Ministry )
    As of Wednesday evening, 350 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the IDF, twice the number that was reported during the first wave of the pandemic, most of whom are either asymptomatic or suffering from mild symptoms.
    The IDF said a majority of those quarantined continue to carry out their duties secluded from others and under strict medical supervision.
    Confirmed carriers serving in combat unit who feel well enough to train can continue to do so without coming in contact with their comrades.
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    חיילים עוזרים לצוות מד"א במתחם "היבדק וסע" בתל אביב
    חיילים עוזרים לצוות מד"א במתחם "היבדק וסע" בתל אביב
    IDF troops at a Tel Aviv testing site for coronavirus
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    On Tuesday, reports emerged that the IDF has reduced the amount of coronavirus tests by eliminating the test done to carriers after they've completed the isolation period.
    The military said the practice of conducting the second test was eliminated because the army is putting soldiers in quarantine for up to 30 days, after they don't have any symptoms, making the second test unnecessary.
    Despite the increase in cases, the IDF has not reinstated lockdowns of bases, as had been done during the first wave of the virus, but social distancing is enforced on bases and leaves home are limited to once every three weeks for combat units.
    3 View gallery
    תמונת ד"ר יעל חביב
    תמונת ד"ר יעל חביב
    An ICU doctor uses PPE in Sheba Medical Center
    (Photo: Tal Shahar)
    The Health Ministry reported that on Wednesday alone 1,231 new cases were confirmed, bringing the number of active patients currently ill with the disease to 15,209, the highest tally since the start of the outbreak in Israel.
    The Health Ministry also reported that 118 patients are now in a serious condition, of which 41 are ventilated, with the death toll climbing to 346.
    The report also said that since the start of this week, 5,351 people have tested positive for the pathogen.
    First published: 14:59, 07.09.20
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