Saying goodbye: Families of Israel’s coronavirus victims mourn

Five Israelis have died as a result of the virus. Two of the victims were residents of the Nofim Tower assisted living facility in Jerusalem.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

As of Wednesday, five Israelis have died from the coronavirus and 2,369 are confirmed to be infected with the virus. On Wednesday morning, the families of two of the latest coronavirus victims spoke with Israel’s Channel 13 News.

“My father paid the price for all this mismanagement,” said Orit Orenstein. Her father, 87-year-old Moshe Orenstein, lived in the Nofim Tower assisted living facility in Jerusalem, where a major coronavirus outbreak has occurred. So far, nine residents of Nofim Tower have contracted the virus.

“The facility still has residents who need help from staff in the nursing ward, and the staff doesn’t have proper protective gear,” Orenstein said.

“We will count more and more dead from this nursing home,” if the situation continues unchanged, she said.

After contracting the virus, Moshe Orenstein was admitted to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. He passed away on Tuesday.

The first Israeli to die of coronavirus, 88-year-old year old Holocaust survivor Aryeh Even, was also a resident of Nofim Tower. Last week, his daughter Yael Even told  Channel 13: “It was frustrating that we couldn’t hold Dad’s hand in his last moments. We saw him on camera and he smiled. It’s very sad that this is how it ended.”

Sixty-seven-year-old Malka Keva of Bat Yam, Israel’s second coronavirus fatality and to date the only female victim, passed away on Tuesday.

“Malka became infected with the virus after eating a meal with her father,” her mourning husband said. “In recent days, her condition deteriorated. When they told us that they were hooking her up to life support, I told my son Moshiko that I had a feeling it was over. I didn’t have time to say goodbye to her. I kept sending her text messages, hoping maybe she’d wake up and read them.”

Keva had recently undergone treatment for cancer before being infected with the coronavirus. She died at Wolfson Medical Center in the city of Holon, just south of Tel Aviv, where she had worked for 30 years.

Two more Israelis died of coronavirus complications on Wednesday morning. One of the fatalities was 76-year-old Moshe Hillel, who suffered from serious preexisting medical issues. He had been hospitalized in an intensive care unit for coronavirus patients at Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer since Monday.

An unnamed 87-year-old Petah Tikva man died at the Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak after being admitted to the hospital on Tuesday night, suffering from shortness of breath and suspected pneumonia. He tested positive for coronavirus after his death.