Photo Credit: Eitan Elhadaz / TPS
The Corona ICU at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv. July 13, 2020

About 120 IDF reservists from the Home Front Command began on Monday to assist the medical staff in the Corona wards in hospitals across the country, as the medical staff contends with a mounting patient count and a growing number of staff who are in quarantine.

Some 760 nurses are in quarantine following to their possible exposure to COVID-19 carriers.


The nurses are threatening to go on strike if they do not receive immediate additional staff.

In the meantime, the government is scrambling to stave off the snowballing financial crisis and the growing social unrest.

Minister of Finance Yisrael Katz announced Sunday evening that about 400,000 people were notified of their eligibility for grants for small businesses following the financial crisis generated by the pandemic.

“The Prime Minister and I have promised that the money will come in quickly this week. We promise and come through,” he said on Twitter.

Speaking at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the massive multibillion shekel aid package he presented on Thursday “will provide wage earners, the self-employed and business owners with certainty for the coming year, for the next 12 months, money directly to the account..”

Israel “can overcome the coronavirus or at least bring Israel to an economic and health routine that enables us to live in a reasonable manner in the coming year. This is the goal; this is the first step.”

The infection rate in Israel remained high on Sunday, with 1,151 new cases registered in 24 hours.

There are 19,300 active patients in Israel, including 151 in serious condition, of them 47 on life support.

Since the outbreak, some 38,670 Israelis have contracted the virus. 19,008 have recovered and 362 have died.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.