IDF chief tests negative for coronavirus, but will remain in quarantine – army
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IDF chief tests negative for coronavirus, but will remain in quarantine – army

Aviv Kohavi feeling well after entering isolation due to exposure to infected officer; two other top generals also cleared of COVID-19

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi speaks at a conference in memory of former IDF chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya on December 25, 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi speaks at a conference in memory of former IDF chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya on December 25, 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and two other top generals have tested negative for COVID-19, the army announced Wednesday morning.

Kohavi and the two officers entered quarantine on Tuesday after it was discovered that they had taken part in a meeting with an officer who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

The IDF said Kohavi felt well and would remain in quarantine until the end of the week.

Test results for Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai and head of IDF Operations Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva arrived later in the morning and were also negative, according to the military. They will similarly stay quarantined until the weekend.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Kohavi, Yadai and Haliva met with the infected Home Front Command reserve officer on March 22, meaning they need to remain in quarantine at least until the end of the week.

Kohavi is self-isolating in his office, and the IDF has said he is maintaining his usual schedule of activities while in quarantine.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, right, visits the Home Front Command in Ramle and speaks to its commander Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai, left, on March 18, 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)

It was Haliva’s second required stretch of home quarantine. He was also forced to isolate himself earlier this month after returning home from a vacation in Italy.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a number of Knesset members, and many of their aides are also in quarantine.

Netanyahu and his advisers voluntarily entered quarantine as a precaution until Health Ministry officials completed their epidemiological investigation into whether he was exposed to the coronavirus, his office said Monday.

Under Health Ministry orders, tens of thousands of Israelis are in self-quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus and the entire country is in an almost total lockdown that has seen most of the population confined to their homes, only allowed out for essential needs.

Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems.

There have been 5,358 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, the Health Ministry said Tuesday evening. That included 94 in serious condition, of whom 76 were on ventilators. Another 104 were in moderate condition. Twenty Israelis have died of the disease.

Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.

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