Holocaust Survivor Dies of Coronavirus in Israel

March 21, 2020
A Chinese woman arrives at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, over suspicions she may be infected with the deadly coronavirus on Jan. 27, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Health Ministry reported Israel’s first death from coronavirus Friday night.

The victim, 88-year-old Aryeh Even, was hospitalized and placed in the quarantine unit for coronavirus patients at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem about a week ago. He arrived in severe condition, and was reported to have had been suffering from a number of underlying conditions.

At the hospital, Even received several treatments from medical staff in an attempt to combat his symptoms. However, during the week, the elderly patient suffered from cardiac arrest. He was later resuscitated but his condition stayed stagnant.

Even’s condition worsened in the hours leading up to death, and he eventually passed away at around 9 p.m. Israel time.

Aryeh was a Holocaust survivor from Hungary who was able to rebuild his life in Israel, his grandson, Maor, told told MaarivThe Jerusalem Post‘s sister publication. He is survived by four children, 18 grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Before being hospitalized, Aryeh Even was living in the Migdal Nofim assisted living facility in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood, Israel Hayom reports, where six others from the same facility have also been confirmed to have the virus, one of whom is in severe condition in Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. Her situation began to deteriorate on the same day that Even passed away.

Last week, a social worker at the facility, which was established in 1984, was diagnosed with coronavirus. The situation has deteriorated since then.

“As soon as it became known that one of the social workers was an infected with coronavirus, we urged the Health Ministry to tests all the occupants who came in contact with her, but they said they would only do so when symptoms show. I urge the Ministry of Health to change that policy,” said Rafi Pollak, manager of the Migdal Nofim nursing home.
The situation of another resident from the assisted living facility, 82, with a history of underlying conditions, is reported to have deteriorated after undergoing CPR, during his time hospitalized in Hasharon Hospital.

The Health Ministry has reported 705 cases of coronavirus in Israel, with 10 of the afflicted in critical condition, 18 in moderate condition and 662 reportedly with mild symptoms.

Israel was one of the first countries to enact strict travel restrictions. On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tightened a national stay-at-home policy, saying police would enforce restrictions.

Celia Jean, Zachary Keyser and Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.

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