The Israel Defence Forces on Saturday ordered soldiers at its largest base not to leave their rooms amid reports of a coronavirus outbreak there, Israel’s Kan news channel has reported. Soldiers at Camp Sharon in the Negev Desert have been told to stay there until further notice.
Although it did not mention the number of coronavirus cases inside the base, the channel said that the decision was made because the soldiers were not abiding by social-distancing rules. According to Channel 12 on Sunday, however, as many as eight soldiers have tested positive for Covid-19 and 100 have been quarantined. Around 10,000 soldiers are based at Camp Sharon.
On Sunday, an Israeli army spokesman revealed that 125 soldiers have tested positive for the virus. This followed a claim by Channel 12 that a soldier whose tests were deemed negative by army scientists were said to be positive when sent to a civilian laboratory. It questioned the reliability of the coronavirus tests conducted at the army laboratories.
It was also announced on Sunday that the commander of the IDF Central Command, Major General Nadav Padan, will enter self-quarantine after coming into contact with a confirmed carrier of the coronavirus.
The Israeli Ministry of Health has said that 8,018 people have tested positive for Covid-19, with a death toll of 47.