We hope that you and your families continue to be well and remain healthy during this continuously challenging time.
There is undoubtedly considerable optimism that Israel’s first major Corona wave is behind us. Guided by the statistics and local trends, this is now the principle which is guiding our hospital’s current Corona response. Over the past week, we officially closed a large percentage of our Keter (Corona) wards as the number of cases has been reduced significantly. We maintain one general ward and an ICU Unit dedicated for COVID-19 patients. At present we are treating 33 patients. Of course, we are fully aware that the trend can reverse itself and every measure remains in place to quickly re-open treatment areas as the need presents.
The situation has also allowed for a gradual increase of activity in many other areas of the hospital. While things are certainly not yet at “pre-Corona” levels – and we don’t expect them to be for some time- there is a general increase of “buzz” about the hospital.
The past week’s Yom Haatzmaut was a true highlight and one that will always be remembered at Shaare Zedek. The celebrations started with one of our dedicated volunteers, Reina Abitbul receiving one of the nation’s highest civilian awards as she was chosen to light a torch on Mount Herzl at the national Independence celebrations. Reina is 92 years old and a long-time presence here at the hospital. Her emotional speech was celebrated as she was coined “Israel’s Savta”, allowing the spirit of Shaare Zedek to once-again become known to people all the country.
An additional highlight for our staff was when the annual Israel Air Force flyover came directly over the hospital. This year, the annual tradition was focused on the nation’s hospitals in tribute to our healthcare workers. The tribute to Shaare Zedek was recorded on the cover of many leading Israeli daily newspapers including Yediot Acharonot and The Jerusalem Post.
Every hope is that the positive trends continue in the right direction, both here and in your communities, and we wish you all the best for only health and happiness in the period ahead. As we are hoping to now enter into this new phase of “Routine Under Emergency”, we plan to issue these updates less frequently but as always welcome you to be in touch with any questions or thoughts.
On a separate and optimistic note, we are very pleased to report that our role in bringing new life to Israel remains a source of considerable pride and accomplishment. During the past month of April, Israel registered 13,052 births. Of those, no fewer than 1,468 took place at Shaare Zedek – including 23 sets of twins. This is a remarkable display of continuity and hope amidst this time of sickness and loss.
Ofer Merin, MD Director General
Jonathan Halevy, MD President