‘Significant improvement’ in condition of Likud’s Bitan, ill with COVID-19

Lawmaker taken off apparatus assisting his heart and lungs, after 2 weeks in hospital

Likud MK David Bitan at the Knesset on January 15, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussil/Flash90)
Likud MK David Bitan at the Knesset on January 15, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussil/Flash90)

The medical condition of Likud MK David Bitan, who has been hospitalized for two weeks with a serious case of COVID-19, has seen a “significant” improvement, according to a statement released on Sunday by his spokesperson.

The statement, sent out on behalf of the lawmaker’s family and the Sheba Medical Center where the lawmaker is receiving treatment, said that Bitan has now been taken off the apparatus to assist his heart and lungs — an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine.

“We are pleased to announce that there has been a significant improvement in the condition of MK David Bitan, who was this morning taken off the heart-lung machine to which he has been connected for the past two weeks,” the statement read. “The MK is feeling well and continues to be hospitalized in the coronavirus intensive care [unit].”

Bitan was hospitalized earlier in the month when his oxygen levels fell, days after it was revealed that he had contracted the coronavirus.

According to Channel 12 news, Bitan continued to meet with people prior to his diagnosis despite feeling unwell and suffering from a cough. Around 30 people were reportedly forced to quarantine as a result of the MK not following the directive to stay home when feeling unwell.

Bitan is among a handful of lawmakers and ministers who have contracted the virus, including then-health minister Yaakov Litzman, Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel, Jerusalem Affairs Minister Rafi Peretz, Shas MK Yinon Azoulay, and Blue and White MK Hila Shay-Vazan.

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