Photo Credit: Yaakov Lederman / Flash 90

The IDF launched Operation Mishmarot Hazahav (lit. golden guards, also means crossing guards) on Wednesday to protect and assist at-risk populations during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and subsequent lockdown, with an emphasis on helping the elderly.

Golden Guards, carried out with assistance from the IDF’s Home Front Command and the local authorities, is a national program that responds to the needs of the elderly population during the lockdown, including the delivery of food and medications and providing company during the prolonged periods of isolation.

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The elderly have been found to be most vulnerable to Coronavirus, and the majority of Israel’s Coronavirus casualties were elderly people in their 80s and 90s.

After the country was separated into five districts, the soldiers will pack weekly packages of food for citizens 65 years old and above. Israel’s big food chains have each taken responsibility for one district. The packages will be delivered by volunteers.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett stated earlier this week that “the IDF and the Ministry of Defense are taking responsibility for protecting the adult population of the State of Israel.”

“Coronavirus harms the older population much more severely than the young one. And so, at the heart of the national plan – to keep the elderly and at-risk populations safe. To that end, the Home Front Command, the IDF and the defense establishment are fully committed to carrying out the mission,” he stated.

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