Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch said this week that if the Israeli public chooses to ignore lockdown regulations that are going into effect on Friday, the health system situation will become so dire that “there will be dead people in the streets like in New York and Italy.”
“If those who say the virus is ‘nothing’ until they see dead in the streets, chas v’chalilah, like in New York and Italy, if they want to spread the virus to us all, then that’s what will happen,” Kisch said on Channel 12 News.
“I hope the public understands how critical it is…that we are reaching numbers that are on the verge of being uncontrollable.”
Currently, there are 1,163 Israelis hospitalized with about half in serious condition.
“I’ve seen it all,” the head nurse of the ICU at Ichilov Hospital told Army Radio on Thursday. “I was by all the terror attacks. But I’ve never been this scared. I’m frightened we won’t be able to care for everyone.”
A report by Hebrew University and Hadassah researchers on Thursday predicts a significant increase in the number of seriously ill patients in the coming days and another 1,000 – 2,500 fatalities. The reports stresses that an effective lockdown is absolutely essential in light of the risk of the health system collapsing.
A report by the IDF’s Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center earlier this week said that the coronavirus has spread throughout the country with an exponential increase in the infection rate. On September 1, 81% of Israelis lived in areas with rising infection rates and by September 8, that number rose to 97%. The cities of Be’er Sheva and Holon, which had low infection rates in recent weeks, were designated as “red zones” this week.
There has also been a rise in infections in children aged 10 -19 due to the opening of the educational system. Health Ministry Deputy Director-General Prof. Itamar Grotto said on Thursday that it was a mistake to reopen schools on September 1.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)