(March 30, 2020 / JNS) Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency has managed to secure an array of critical medical equipment necessary to combat the country’s coronavirus outbreak, Hebrew media reported on Monday.
According to the reports, 25,000 N-95 respirator masks, 20,000 virus test kits, 10 million surgical masks and 700 full-body protection suits for ambulance workers landed in Israel overnight Sunday. Twenty-seven new ventilators have already arrived in the country, with an additional 160 set to arrive on Wednesday, according to the reports.
The cache is the third such shipment by the Mossad in just a few weeks.
Last week, the intelligence brought 400,000 coronavirus test kits to Israel from an undisclosed foreign location, just a week after the agency brought in 100,000 testing kits, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Since Israel’s first coronavirus case was confirmed on Feb. 20, dozens of medical workers have contracted COVID-19, leading Israel to seek out the more effective N-95 masks.
Additionally, as the number of cases in Israel continues to climb, the medical community has expressed concern that not enough life-saving ventilators are available, a scenario that would force doctors to choose which patients to save—a situation that has already contributed to the deaths of hundreds of people in Italy.
Israel’s lack of necessary medical supplies was expected to be on the agenda of the Knesset Special Committee on Dealing With the Coronavirus on Monday. Last week, the body reported that Israel currently has 1,437 ventilators, though the Health Ministry disputed that tally, saying 2,864 were available.
As of Monday afternoon, 4,347 Israelis were diagnosed with COVID-19. A 58-year-old man with what doctors said were “significant” pre-existing medical conditions succumbed to the illness on Monday, making him Israel’s 16th coronavirus casualty, as well as the youngest.
An additional 80 people are in serious condition, according to the Israeli Health Ministry.
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