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As government struggles with rising COVID cases, IDF rejoins fight

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The Israel Defense Forces will deploy hundreds of reservists to hospitals and clinics in order to boost the country’s medical system amid a growing outbreak of coronavirus cases throughout the country, a senior officer in the Home Front Command said Thursday.

The military had scaled back its involvement in the government’s COVID-19 response as case numbers dropped this spring and summer, but it was called back in with the ongoing spread of the Delta variant, which has been found to be more infectious than other versions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Israel on Thursday saw nearly 6,000 people test positive for the coronavirus, alongside a steadily growing number of serious COVID-19 cases. This outbreak has principally hit the country’s unvaccinated population, raising concerns about the reopening of Israeli schools, whose younger students — those aged three to 12 — are not currently eligible for inoculation.

In an effort to address this issue, the IDF Home Front Command will conduct serological tests of Israeli children — checking to see which of them have the antibodies for the coronavirus — alongside local authorities. Children found to have coronavirus antibodies will receive a so-called Green Pass allowing them free entrance to schools and indoor spaces without that the need for a negative test, as those without antibodies currently require.

So far the military has begun testing in four cities with high ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, populations as their schools opened this week with the start of the Jewish month of Elul. This will expand in the coming weeks before the rest of Israel’s schools........

© The Times of Israel

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