Israel Delivers a Dynamic Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic
by Rivkah Naomi Green | Mar 30, 2020 | Israel
The Novel Coronavirus Moves Across the World with Lightning Speed
The Novel Coronavirus emerged slowly and lent a feeling of unease that has snowballed over the past month. We have all watched in horror as stock markets have plummeted, country after country has fallen into the grip of this highly contagious virus, overtaxing medical infrastructure and most painfully causing the loss of life.
Governments the world over are responding with stricter, more draconian measures, and people find themselves feeling afraid, lonely, and helpless.
The Israeli people have responded to this global health crisis in a uniquely Jewish way. Jewish tradition and religious law have always taught us to respect the sanctity of human life. We are all created in God’s image and according to that, all life, both that of the gentile and the Jew are precious and warrant heroic efforts to be protected.
Israel has responded to the crisis by leading the way toward a cure and supplying much needed equipment to those in need.
Israel is leading the way in the urgent effort to find a human vaccine against the Covid 19 Coronavirus. The scientists at the Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL) report that they are potentially on the brink of delivering a vaccine.They have already created a vaccine that is effective in treating Infectious Bronchitis Virus which is a strain of coronavirus, however different from Covid-19. The MIGAL scientists are developing ways to adapt the existing vaccine to be effective in the fight against Covid-19.
MIGAL’s CEO David Zigdon said that “given the urgent global need for a human Coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development. Our goal is to produce the vaccine during the next 8-10 weeks, and to achieve safety approval in 90 days.”
Testing for Covid 19
Israeli company BATM has developed a rapid response Covid-19 diagnostic test for use by medical facilities with current shipments bound for Europe with a priority for Italy.
BATM and Novamed Lmt, are in joint development of an at-home Covid-19 diagnostic test which should be ready within 3 months. The test will deliver results within minutes.
Not all masks are effective in preventing the transmission of Covid-19. Two Israeli companies are creating masks that impressively protect against the coronavirus.
Argaman Technology uses a system of embedding copper particles inside cotton fibers which are able to block germs and bacteria. The company recently sold their entire stock of over one million masks to Hong Kong and are rapidly restocking in order to provide additional masks to other countries in need.
Sonovia has developed masks that guard against the flu, and it’s hoped that further testing will show them effective against Covid-19 as well. “Israel has technologies that can support controlling this epidemic,” says Liat Goldhammer-Steinberg, CTO, Sonovia.
NO Israeli response would be complete without prayer. In keeping with Jewish tradition rabbis from across Israel have called for prayer. In early February, on a cold, wet, winter night hundreds of people came together for a prayer service at our most sacred place, The Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. Together with visitors from around the world a prayer went up to ask for healing and to show solidarity with all those suffering around the world.
As the pandemic continues to touch us all, we are reminded how interconnected and dependent on one another we are. As we see the technologies that Israeli companies are developing to help with a cure we understand more clearly how those who bless Israel are blessed.
Now more than ever we need to support one another and to strengthen our communities. How are you responding to the crisis in your community and family?
We all look toward a future that reveals a cure to this illness. The Torah promises us that it is, after all, written that before the illness, God created the cure.