Ronni Gamzu
© Israeli Defense Ministry
Ronni Gamzu visits the Home Front Command on July 29, 2020
The IDF's Home Front Command coronavirus contact tracing headquarters will begin operating as early as Tuesday, according to a report by N12.

The announcement came after much confusion on Thursday, when despite a decision by coronavirus commissioner Ronni Gamzu that epidemiological investigations would be transferred from the Health Ministry to the IDF, Health Ministry director-general Chezy Levy sent a letter to district doctors and nurses informing them that the professional leadership of these investigations would remain in the hands of the Public Health Department of his ministry.

Shortly after the letter was shared with the press, the ministry sent a clarification that there was no contradiction, and that the professional leadership in the field would be managed by the health professionals and the execution would be handled by the IDF.

"Changes in the structure and work processes in the field of epidemiological investigations may take place in the coming weeks," Levy's letter said. "I would like to clarify that the professional leadership in this field, which is central to public health, will remain in public health."

The headquarters will, in fact, report to Gamzu and the Health Ministry.

According to N12, the headquarters will start out being manned by 1,000 trackers, who will speak different languages and come from variant backgrounds to make it easier for the patients. Some of the investigations will be transferred to the new team from the Health Ministry.

On Wednesday, the Defense Ministry disseminated photos of Gamzu visiting Home Front Command headquarters to discuss collaboration in the fight against the virus.

On Tuesday night, Gamzu revealed his "Shield of Israel" strategic plan, admitting that with regards to "test, trace, isolate," the methodology that experts believe is key to stopping the spread of the pandemic, the Health Ministry had not done a sufficient job.

As such, "the IDF will deal with this," he said. "The IDF's involvement is very important because it is a system that can work quickly."

In the Health Ministry's statement of clarification, it said that, "the director-general of the Health Ministry welcomes the army's entry into the testing project and the interruption of the infection chain. There is no dispute with Prof. Gamzu.

"The commissioner and the director-general are working together," the letter concluded.