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Three Israeli generals released from coronavirus quarantine as one goes in

Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, right, Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff, is tested after exposure to the coronavirus. He and two other generals sent into self-quarantine and were released as another general entered self-quarantine. Israel has reported 48 deaths due to the virus. Photo courtesy of Israel Defense Force
Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, right, Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff, is tested after exposure to the coronavirus. He and two other generals sent into self-quarantine and were released as another general entered self-quarantine. Israel has reported 48 deaths due to the virus. Photo courtesy of Israel Defense Force

April 6 (UPI) -- An Israel Defense Force was general headed for self-quarantine on Monday as three other generals were released from hospital isolation, officials said.

Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan, chief of the army's Teleprocessing and Cyber Defense Directorate, will attempt to keep working despite his quarantine. He met a civilian, who later tested positive for the coronavirus, during a visit to the West Bank on Friday, the IDF announced.

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"The general feels good, without symptoms," an IDF statement said.

IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Home Front Command chief Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai and head of IDF Operations Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva were released from isolation over the weekend after they came into contact with a reserve officer who later was found to have contracted the virus.

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Ten of thousands of Israeli civilians are in self-quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus and demands by the health ministry in Israel. The entire country, which is about the size of New Jersey and has a population of 8.7 million, is in virtual lockdown, with only essential travel permitted. Israel's death count reached 48 over the weekend, with 8,018 confirmed cases of the disease.

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After his release from quarantine on Monday, Kohavi called for the military to take over management of the health crisis in a private letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He noted that the IDF should be responsible for coronavirus testing, in which he said the military's crisis management methods have a distinct advantage over those of civilian authorities.

The mandate would require a national state of emergency under Israeli law, which would authorize the IDF Home Front Command to assume responsibility over civilian authorities. The IDF has been preparing for that possibility. So far, the IDF has only taken command of several ultra-Orthodox area where health ministry directives have been disregarded.

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