The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) can’t halt or even suffer a slowdown in its critical work of protecting the nation because of a pesky virus. But with a sharp rise in positive COVID test results, that’s becoming a problem. One IDF commander had a simple solution: Just stop getting tested.
“The eradication of the disease will be carried out by eradication of tests, that is, not to send people for testing,” wrote the commander of the Givati Reconnaissance Battalion in a letter to his subordinates that was published by Ynet.
The commander explained that at present his forces “are in excellent condition of zero verified cases. Maintaining this will help the unit’s fitness and will also help us avoid unnecessary cancellations of leave.”
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit quickly responded that the commander’s orders were inappropriate and contrary to orders from higher up the chain of command. All IDF soldiers are eligible at all times to request a COVID-19 test.
The past few weeks have seen a sharp rise in coronavirus infections rates in Israel thanks to the rapid spread of the Delta variant.
Every day this week has seen between 5,000-6,000 confirmed new cases, with a positive test result of close to 5%. More worrying is that the number of people hospitalized in serious condition with COVID-19 has doubled in just two weeks.
These developments have prompted the government to reinstate the “Green Passport” system and to accelerate its public relations campaign urging all Israelis to get fully vaccinated, including booster shots for senior citizens.