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Couple at illegal wedding had COVID-19, didn’t know; 3 guests died — TV report

Former deputy Shin Bet chief said among fatalities linked to event in September, which was held against health rules; super-spreading couple was pre-symptomatic

Illustrative image: Wedding rings with facemasks (iStock)
Illustrative image: Wedding rings with facemasks (iStock)

A coronavirus outbreak at a wedding in September caused the deaths of three people, including the former deputy chief of the Shin Bet security service, according to a television report on Monday.

The super-spreader event saw 43 people infected with COVID-19, Channel 13 reported.

The virus was spread by a couple from central Israel who attended the event unaware that they were carrying the disease and only began to experience symptoms the next day.

According to the network, most of the 100 guests at the wedding — held in violation of health regulations — did not wear masks and breached social distancing guidelines to dance.

Former Shin Bet deputy director Yitzhak Ilan. (video screenshot)

Three of the guests who fell ill with the virus were hospitalized in serious condition and later died. Among them was Yitzhak Ilan, the former Shin Bet deputy chief, who succumbed in October at the age of 64, after a storied counterterrorism career in the agency.

The TV report did not identify the location or precise date of the event, or the other two victims.

The event appeared to have taken place at a time when virus cases were rapidly rising, averaging around 8,000 cases daily before Israel imposed a lockdown in mid-September.

Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing evacuate a patient to the coronavirus unit at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem on November 1, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Monday recorded 526 virus cases a day earlier, as the number of active infections in the country dipped below 8,000. It said 332 people were in serious condition, including 144 on ventilators. Another 93 were in moderate condition, with the rest displaying mild or no symptoms.

The ministry said 21,470 tests were conducted on Sunday, with 2.4 percent returning positive.

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