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IDF ups readiness to state normally reserved for war amid pandemic

Dubbing its efforts against the coronavirus “Ray of Light,” the Israel Defense Forces says it is moving to a higher state of readiness, one normally reserved for preparation for an enemy attack, but which the military stresses is not in light of external threats but because of the pandemic.

The IDF had been at its normal state of routine preparedness, before moving into this heightened level.

There are two more states above the current one in the military’s scale. The implication of the higher state of preparedness is mostly in the number of soldiers that need to be at hand as well as the state of each unit’s inventories.

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman says the military is working on multiple fronts both to assist civilian authorities to combat the disease and to prepare for the possibility of needing to further intervene and support the public if the situation deteriorates further, as well as ensuring that it can continue to operate as normal despite the pandemic.

Currently 10 soldiers have tested positive for the disease, and roughly 5,600 service members are in quarantine. Yet Zilberman says the military’s operation preparedness has not been affected.