IDF chief of staff tests negative for coronavirus

IDF chief of staff tests negative for coronavirus

IDF Chief-of-Staff Kochavi had quarantined himself in his office after a senior officer he met with was found to be infected. Two other top commanders are still quarantined.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The commander of Israel’s armed forces got the good news Wednesday that he tested negative for coronavirus after it was discovered a senior army officer he had met with was infected.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi attended a meeting on March 22 with unit commanders of the army’s Home Front Command, including a reserve officer who was discovered to be infected Tuesday.

Kochavi immediately quarantined himself in his office in order to continue working, but under health guidelines will remain there until the weekend to be doubly sure he is healthy.

“The Chief of the General Staff is currently feeling well and will remain in quarantine until the end of the week, in accordance with the restrictions,” and IDF statement said.

However, test results for two other senior officers, including the commanding officer of the Home Front Command, have not yet come back, and they too remain in quarantine.

In a video released by the IDF Tuesday, a uniformed Kochavi spoke from his desk to reassure the country he was still in command and working at full speed.

“I am in the office in isolation,” Kochavi said. “I feel excellent and everything is OK, but we have to be strict with the rules.”

Kochavi took the opportunity to remind those in uniform that not sticking to the rules for preventing the spread of the epidemic was “dangerous to your health and dangerous to the service of the (military) units.”

“I will continue to command from here on all the operational activities on all fronts,” Kochavi said.

The IDF has been involved in what Kochavi called the “war on the corona epidemic,” with troops deployed around the country in multiple roles including backing up the police, assisting the Magen David Adom national EMS service and 1,000 soldiers helping get food and medicines to the nation’s elderly in an operation dubbed “Guards of Gold.”