As many as 42 Israeli medics have tested positive for COVID-19. while 3,030 doctors and nurses are in quarantine due to possible exposure. Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been attributed to the rise in infected medics in Israel.
According to the Health Ministry figures, the number of sick medical professionals has doubled in two days. Those isolated include 814 doctors and 893 nurses, the Times of Israel reported. The rise in sickness among medical workers has been attributed to the lack of protective equipment, along with an unsafe working condition.
Shortage of clinical masks
According to the Times of Israel report, some hospitals are so short of clinical masks, that the staff is rationing them. "I get one mask for a shift. If it's ripped, I don't get another", told a medic in a Channel 13 report. "No gloves, no masks, no bathrobes and no disposable bed covers," said another.
Due to the increase in diseased medics, "entire wards have been closed, vital medical teams have gone into quarantine, and our most valuable resources, doctors, are going to waste", according to Rey Biton, the head of the Mirsham association for medical interns.
Expert calls for reorganising work in hospitals
Professor Zion Hagay, chairman of the Israel Medical Association, called on the health system to "reorganise work in the hospitals immediately in order to protect the medical staff. The approach should be to work in small groups to reduce exposure and to ensure protection in all departments for all the staff".
"We are in constant contact with [the country's] medical staff and are equipping them with additional protective gear," the Health Ministry issued a statement, after coming under intense criticism.
Itamar Grotto, the deputy director-general of health ministry informed on Thursday that the country was also witnessing a shortage of swabs used in testing kits for the coronavirus, thus delaying the number of tests able to be carried out throughout the country. On Sunday, Israel reported 188 new cases of COVID-19. The number of cases in the country now stands at 1,071 along with one fatality.