Operation Golden Guards: IDF to aid elderly with food, medication deliveries during coronavirus pandemic

The IDF will assist Israel’s elderly population and their needs such as food, medication, long-term isolation and loneliness during the coronavirus crisis, the Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett will formulate a national plan and will address the needs of the elderly. The full plan will be presented for approval in the coming days.

“The defense minister will put together a national plan on this matter, which will provide for the needs of the elderly population, including nutrition, medical needs, long-term quarantine, loneliness and more,” the ministry said.

Roughly 1,000 soldiers from the Home Front Command will take part in the effort, IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said.

The troops will work with local government officials to map each town’s elderly residents and determine how to assist them.

“The decision was made after a series of discussions led by the NSC on the elderly population, which assessed the policies toward this population in reference to the coronavirus,” the PMO said.

“It was agreed that the main food distribution centers around the country must be mapped and that available personnel must be linked with resources and needs, such as the channeling of assistance and personnel to where they are lacking,” the PMO added.

A 67-year-old woman died from coronavirus, the Health Ministry and Wolfson hospital announced earlier today. This is the second death from coronavirus in Israel.  

On Friday evening Israel reported its first coronavirus fatality. Aryeh Even z”l, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor from Hungary who was able to rebuild his life in Israel, is survived by 4 children, 18 grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Another 234 people have tested positive for coronavirus today, bringing the country’s total to 1656, 30 of them in serious condition and 47 in moderate condition and 1528 in light condition, among them 652 patients displaying only light or no symptoms who are hospitalized at home and 161 more patients hospitalized in hotels, the Health Ministry reports.

49 people have completely recovered from the virus.

The new report makes Israel the world’s 20th country worst-hit by the coronavirus. However, the mortality rate in Israel is exceptionally low, standing under 0.1%.

Israel was one of the first countries to enact strict travel restrictions.

Israel’s government approved additional measures to limit the movement of citizens and trade, including the requirement for Israelis to stay at home, with the exception of buying food, basic essentials, medicine and medical procedures.