An Israeli charity purchased critical medical equipment from Chinese suppliers but had no way to get it to Israel.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in Israel, one of the biggest concerns has been a shortage of ventilators and other breathing devices. A medical nonprofit raised 13 million shekels to purchase equipment – only it needed help getting it to Israel. The Mossad stepped up.
During the last week of March, the Jewish State had just 1,400 ventilators available for patients, meaning a surge of critically ill coronavirus patients could spell disaster.
In an effort to avoid an Italy-like scenario in which doctors would need to choose which patients would receive life-saving ventilators, the Israeli nonprofit group Yad Sarah launched a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of such equipment from abroad.
Philanthropist Aaron Frankel announced that he would match and double any amount donated to the campaign, after an initial $180,000 donation he made to the charity.
Yad Sarah usually provides respirators and other breathing equipment for Israelis to use at home, but in light of the crisis, it donated all its machines to Israeli hospitals.
After raising more than 13 million shekels, Yad Sarah purchased medical equipment from Chinese suppliers, including 800 oxygen generators, 300 home respiratory support machines, 500 5-liter oxygen masks and balloons for adults, 100 oxygenation masks designed for children, 10,000 blood oxygen monitors and pulse monitors, 500,000 N95 masks, and a medical mask manufacturing machine.
The equipment is expected to arrive at Shanghai Airport in the coming days. Yad Sarah called upon the Israeli government to assist in bringing the materials back to Israel, as the organization doesn’t have the funds to pay for the import.
On Tuesday morning, the Israeli government released a statement to Israel Hayom, whose initial report brought the problem to the government’s attention, announcing that the Mossad will help bring the equipment back to Israel, likely via an El Al cargo plane.