Israel’s infection curve is about to reach 2,000 cases a day, the red line drawn by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, to decree new confinement at the national level. The head of Health confirmed yesterday in an interview with the newspaper ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’ that the return to the confinement of the entire country “will be put on the table at the government meeting on Sunday” and regretted that “the measures we have taken are not enough and we must make a decision on new restrictions. What else can we do to avoid confinement?
After a quick discontent to try to get back to normal as soon as possible, the number of infections has doubled in recent weeks and now exceeds 43,000. So far 375 people have died in the country since the start of the pandemic. The mandatory use of the mask, the closure of bars, gyms and swimming pools or the limitation of the number of attendees at weddings and events have not managed to moderate the curve.
Experts from the Ministries of Health and Defense advising the Government think that the virus is “out of control”. Hospitals have 529 admitted patients, of which 56 require assisted ventilation. The newspaper ‘Haaretz’ revealed the problem with the fans that Israel is facing in the face of this second wave because of the 15,000 that were purchased, in an investment of 253 million euros, “only a tenth of a small part has arrived and among them there are low models quality”.
The health sources consulted by this newspaper also revealed “the low quality” of the protection equipment purchased for medical personnel, which would have led the authorities to “try to resell them to underdeveloped countries”. Given the increase in cases, the Army announced contracts with eight new hotels to isolate the infected there, so that the Ministry of Defense will have twenty quarantine centers throughout the country.
The inability to cope with the health crisis has caused strong tension within the new government and, according to several local media surveys, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity has plummeted. The Likud leader admitted that the reopening of the economy “was premature,” but was justified by saying that “we wanted to put as many of you back into the workforce as possible.” His Blue and White coalition partners asked Netanyahu to “stop shirking responsibilities” and bet on the Army leading the response to the pandemic.
Faced with the prospect of a new confinement, ministers such as the one for Science and Technology, Izhar Shay, put on the table alternative models based on partial closings during the nights and weekends to try to limit the impact on the economy.