'There was always a smile on his face'

Officer who headed police unit at Tel Aviv hospital dies of COVID-19

Michael Levy, 55, commander of force’s presence at Ichilov medical center, is survived by five children

Michael Levy (Screen capture: Twitter)
Michael Levy (Screen capture: Twitter)

Michael Levy, a police officer from the Tel Aviv precinct who was the commander of the police presence at Ichilov Hospital and reportedly came into contact with a number of coronavirus patients while performing his duties, died from COVID-19 Saturday.

Levy, 55, resident of Bnei Brak and father of five, lost consciousness at synagogue during Yom Kippur prayers two weeks ago and was rushed to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with the coronavirus and bleeding in his brain, possibly from the fall, according to the ultra-Orthodox Behadrei Haredim news website.

At the hospital, Levy was put under anesthesia and on a respirator. His condition later deteriorated, with doctors pronouncing his death on Saturday.

As the commander of police presence at Ichilov Hospital, Levy came into contact with coronavirus patients receiving treatment there, according to Hebrew language media. However, it is unclear if that is where he contracted the disease.

In an interview with Behadrei Haredim, a hospital staff member who worked with Levy said, “There was always a smile on his face; you never saw him looking sad.”

The staff member went on to say that Levy “was young, both in his age and in his spirit. It is very sad.”

On Sunday morning, the number of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic stood at 290,003, of which 62,133 were active cases. There were 825 people in serious condition, 214 of them on ventilators, and 300 patients were moderately ill.

The death toll held steady from Saturday night at 1,914.

Israel has been under a national lockdown for the past three weeks to contain a raging second wave of the pandemic, which at one point reached some 9,000 daily cases. However, recent days have seen both the number of daily cases and the percentage of positive tests go down amid sweeping restrictions on the public.

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