Israel's intelligence-gathering unit to collaborate with IDF to develop ventilators 

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Apr 01, 2020, 09:48 PM(IST)

Israel Photograph:( AFP )

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Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov last week said Israel has 2,864 available ventilators, including some owned by the IDF.

Israel's famed General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, or Unit 269, more commonly known as Sayeret Matkal, is helping with medical logistics in the IDF’s fight against the coronavirus, The Jerusalem Post reported. 

Its commandos have been counting the number of respirators in hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Israel. The elite unit is more accustomed to gathering field intelligence deep behind enemy lines, carrying out counter-terrorism operations and rescuing hostages. It is now playing a key role in the fight against COVID-19, the report added.

Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov last week said Israel has 2,864 available ventilators, including some owned by the IDF. But some reports said the Health Ministry does not know the true number of ventilators in the country.

“The State of Israel must develop independent capabilities in everything related to dealing with the COVID-19 virus pandemic,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday.

 “We cannot remain dependent on procurement from other countries. We must develop independent, advanced capabilities.”

Amid fears that the number of patients needing respiratory assistance may exceed the number of respirators available, the Defense Ministry, along with Israel Aerospace Industries and Invoytec, will also begin producing Israeli-developed ventilators.

“The Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP) and the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) at the Defense Ministry, in collaboration with medical company Inovytec and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), have completed the establishment of a first-of-its-kind production line for Ventway Sparrow ventilators,” the ministry said in a statement.

The first 30 ventilators have been delivered to the Health Ministry. 

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