Two brothers died of COVID-19 within two hours of each other at the same hospital in southern Israel on Wednesday evening,
Yitzhak “Jackie” Edry and his brother Nissim, aged 62 and 61, respectively, passed away at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, with the younger sibling the first to succumb to the illness.
Neither of the brothers was vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reports. Jackie was unable to be vaccinated because of a medical condition. It wasn’t immediately clear why Nissim did not get the shots.
The brothers reportedly became infected three weeks ago during a family event that they attended.
“Even rocks can be broken, and not due to old age,” Jackie’s daughter Adele wrote on Facebook. “In life and death they were not separated.”
Jackie Edri was known for his social justice activism and his battles on behalf of the rights of employees at Israel Chemicals and the Dead Sea Works companies.
In 2011 he went on a hunger strike in protest of water tariffs, eventually winning subsidies from the Finance Ministry for low-income families. From 2013 to 2018 he was a member of the Dimona city council.
Dimona Mayor Benny Biton, a former classmate of Jackie’s, said in a statement that Edri “always went against the flow, for better or worse. He was a social fighter.”
“It is a great tragedy for Dimona,” Biton said.
Israel recently exited its fourth wave of virus infections after making mass inoculation a central tactic in curbing the outbreak.
Shots are available to all those 12 and over and will soon be provided for 5- to 11-year-olds, after the US Food and Drug Administration approved use of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine for that age group.
Health Ministry figures published Thursday show there were just 605 new COVID-19 infections diagnosed the day before.
There were 6,952 active patients, of whom 185 were seriously ill.
So far out of Israel’s population of 9.5 million people, 6,243,281 have had at last one vaccine shot, of which 5,738,253 have had two and 3,973,121 have also had the third, booster, shot.