Too little, too late? Israel’s government announces further restrictions to curb spike in COVID-19 infections

August 12, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
Read on for article

The Ministerial Committee on Fighting the Coronavirus voted on Wednesday evening to enact another list of COVID-19 related restrictions, in what appears to be a frantic race against a pending countrywide closure and while facing severe criticism of slow and lacking action.

Inside the Coronavirus Unit in Herzog Medical Center in Jerusalem as the 4th COVID-19 wave driven by Delta variant is continuing to spread across Israel. Jerusalem, Aug 3, 2021. Photo by Shalev Shalom/TPS

Prime Minister Naftali and the Corona Cabinet decided on restrictions mainly limiting the entry of the non-vaccinated to public venues and minimizing the size of gatherings.

Children aged 3-12 can enter public venues after presenting a negative test, which will be financed by the state without restriction.

Youth Aged 12 and up can enter if they are vaccinated, or if they present a negative test, which they are required to pay for.

The expanded ‘Green Pass’ will take effect on Wednesday, 18 August 2021, subject to the approval of the relevant regulations.

During the discussion, health experts warned that if the health care system reached insufficiency and a state of 20,000 new cases a day, another 3,000 people could die by the end of September.

Prof. Ran Balicer, a member of the Ministry of Health’s epidemic treatment team, told the Corona Cabinet that if the doubling of the number of critically ill patients does not stop soon, Israel will cross the hospital capacity threshold in mid-late September or even earlier.

“We need restrictions on gatherings much more significant than what has been proposed here,” he said.

Former Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein accused the government of acting too little and too late.

He warned that Israel is “on the verge of catastrophe. The situation is terrible,” and the government “completely ignores the recommendations of professionals. There are no serious, determined, significant steps to eradicate the pandemic.”

“As Minister of Health, I trusted my professionals. Today they are being pushed as if they are the problem and not the solution. The State of Israel can contain economic problems and help the victims [of financial failure], but we cannot contain the dead. It is impossible to bring the dead back to life, or to underestimate the suffering of the sick.”

“The sweeping decline in morbidity indices indicates a lack of leadership,” he charged.

Bennett introduced on Wednesday a grandiose plan to “give a booster” to the health system and expand its ability to treat a larger number of COVID-19 patients, but doctors, nurses, and health system officials rejected the plan as un-executable and unrealistic.

The Ministry of Health updated Wednesday night that the number of Corona patients hospitalized in critical condition has risen to 421, for the first time since the end of March. 65 of the patients are on life support.

A total of 5, 946 people were diagnosed with the virus.

Of the 139,010 tests were conducted Tuesday, 4.62% returned positive.

Over 716,518 people aged 60 and over have been vaccinated with a third dose.

Eight patients died Tuesday, bringing the number of Corona deaths in Israel to 6,593 people.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.