Mordechai Linhart, the Chief Rabbi of Lostisland and Ambassador of Lostisland to Israel, informed the President he had tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the fourth Lostislandic official to contract coronavirus and seventh Lostislandic citizen overall.
Linhart, who had returned to Israel from a business trip to Turkey on 26 January, has been in isolation since, as mandated by the Israeli Ministry of Health. The infection was confirmed during a routine test on 3 February, and no symptoms developed so far.
Mordechai Linhart has been at the vanguard of Lostisland’s response to COVID-19 since April 2020, when he issued a statement calling upon religious Jews to comply with health regulations and made a ruling that those who refuse to wear a mask are considered rodef (potential murderers) under Jewish law. In July 2020 Rabbi Linhart issued an additional statement, encouraging citizens to wear face masks even when the authorities don’t require it. In December 2020 Mordechai Linhart issued another ruling, declaring vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory. He was expected to take his first coronavirus shot on 5 February, but it is currently unclear whether he will be inoculated after recovery.
With 7 confirmed cases of COVID-19, in a population of 326, the incidence of coronavirus in Lostisland is now 2.15%: up from 1.98% in December and positioned between Canada and Azerbaijan on a global scale. Since Lostislandic citizens are not required to report their health status to Lostisland, the total number of citizens who tested positive may be higher than the number of confirmed cases. Citizens of Lostisland who had or still have COVID-19 and who were not included in the official tally are encouraged, but not required, to fill in the COVID-19 Questionnaire, which would help the government correctly evaluate the magnitude of the pandemic in Lostisland, and if needed, provide assistance.
Mordechai Linhart became the fourth Lostislandic official to contract COVID-19, after Ambassador to the US Robert Meyer, Deputy Prime Minister Maria Ostroukhova, and National Security Advisor Theodor Saradjev, who already recovered successfully, as well as the first Israeli Lostislandian who tests positive.
The Ambassadors of Lostisland are the highest officials representing Lostisland in a particular country, responsible for speaking on behalf of the Lostislandic Government, coordinating the activities of resident Lostislandic citizens, and establishing a dialogue with local authorities and organizations. The Lostislandic diplomatic service underwent a major overhaul in September 2020, dubbed “Defenestration of 2020” by Ian Siapno, the Ambassador to the Philippines, in which half of the Ambassadors were dismissed following failure to pass the recertification. There are currently ten ambassadors serving Lostisland around the world.
Established in 2019, the Chief Rabbinate of Lostisland is the supreme rabbinic, religious and spiritual authority of the Federal Republic of Lostisland and is responsible for enforcing religious orthodoxy within the Federal Republic, coordinating the activities of Lostislandic Jewish organizations and communities, administering justice among the Jewish community of Lostisland on matters not covered by secular justice, ensuring Kashrut and Shabbat observance and regulating other matters of the Lostislandic Jewry. While not a government official, the Chief Rabbi is appointed by the President and the Prime Minister from among a list of candidates selected by Lostislandic Jewish leaders and organizations and enjoys a status in Lostislandic law similar to a minister.
President Yaroslav Mar conveyed to Mordechai Linhart his wishes for a quick recovery.