‘Difficult days yet before us’: PM Bennett appeals to the public, details plan to fight COVID-19

August 15, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett published on Saturday night what he described as a “national plan to fight the Delta wave,” while warning that “difficult days are yet before us.”

PM Naftali Bennett,. (Shalom Shalev/TPS)

He said that his government’s goal “is simple: To safeguard the health of the citizens of Israel and the economic future of the State of Israel.”

“Safeguarding the livelihoods of the citizens of Israel is also safeguarding their lives,” he underscored. Bennett is facing criticism over his refusal to introduce significant COVID-19 related restrictions, as the Coronavirus stats in the country continue to skyrocket.

“We will do everything to avoid lockdowns, which – to livelihoods, the economy and the education of our children – are destructive tools. Lockdowns are only a last resort,” he wrote.

“Thus it is with the Delta strain: Daily routine is part of life and we must find a responsible balance between all the needs,” he said.

He warned that “if we continue with the policy of lockdowns and economically destructive restrictions, we will simply collapse economically.”

“While difficult days are yet before us, I am certain that if we act according to the plan, and if the citizens of Israel wear masks, get vaccinated as soon as it is available for them, and in general, if we act with solidarity and mutual assistance, we will overcome the Delta strain,” he asserted.

Bennett, who is on vacation in the north, spoke on Saturday night with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash, and following the demand for night inoculations in Tel Aviv, he directed that night vaccination stands be opened in 10 main cities in Israel from Sunday until Tuesday night.

Citizens over the age of 50 can receive a third booster vaccine. Over 866,000 Israelis have done so in a bit over two weeks.

In the meantime, Ash warned that if there is not a significant improvement in the morbidity numbers in the coming week, Israel will be forced to enter a countrywide lockdown.

“If there is no reduction in the serious morbidity, we will have to take the difficult steps and go to lockdown. We have preliminary information on the effect of the third vaccine against infection. We estimate that this has halved the number of cases among the vaccinated, and we will have to see in the coming days that this trend is maintained, and this is also reflected in the serious illness,” he said cautiously.

The Ministry of Health updated Saturday that it recorded 4,145 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. The number of new cases over the weekend is usually lower.

A high and climbing 5.38% of some 79,000 tests returned positive.

524 Corona patients are hospitalized in critical condition, 84 of them are on life support.

Reports from hospitals in the Tel Aviv and the coast area indicate that they have already reached their full capacity and patients are being sent to hospitals in Jerusalem.

Seven Israelis have died of Corona over the weekend, bringing the total to 6,632.

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