Professor Itamar Grotto, the Associate Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Health told the mayor of Beitar Illit that officials are mulling imposing a lockdown on the city due to the high infection rate of COVID cases in the city.
Mayor Meir Rubenstein responded to the threatened lockdown and sent a letter Health Minister Yuli Edelstein expressing his firm objection to the move.
“For the past few weeks, I have been running after members of your staff to enlist their help in evacuating the sick people from Beitar Illit to the Corona hotels. However, all of my efforts have been in vain. The Health Ministry has decided to hand over the management of the evacuation of Covid-19 patients to the HMOs, something that has become the greatest stumbling block in the handling of the second wave of the virus.
Additionally, the Ministry isn’t assisting the local authorities. You imposed strict regulations on the city a number of weeks ago that included the closing of the educational facilities in the city, and completely disregarded the objections of the city council to this move. Tot his day, no directive has been published by the Director of the Health Ministry regarding the regulation, it doesn’t even appear on the Ministry’s website. Our continued queries to the ministry and its officials have gone unanswered.
No Professor Grotto is threatening to put a lockdown on the city. I want to ask you Mr. Minister, what good would that due, except to create an incubator for the virus. You are not aiding us in evacuating the ill from the city, and the moment that you lock the gates of the city, the virus will simply spread farther and faster throughout the population within. Where is the logic in this? The decision unmasks a terrible failure in the handling of the second wave.
During the first wave, we worked together with the Home Front Command and succeeded at lowering the infection rate without any lockdown required. However, during this second wave, we are witnessing a sense of powerlessness, the likes of which I have never seen before in my life.
I ask that you work to cease this proposed lockdown that will not do any good and will only serve to make the virus more rampant in our city.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)