Sunday, October 24th | 18 Heshvan 5782

July 1, 2020 1:12 pm

Top Israeli Scientist Fears Country Has Lost Control of Coronavirus Pandemic

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli police check a driver in a car at a checkpoint on a main road in Jerusalem as they try to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), April 12, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

A top Israeli scientist issued a stark warning on Wednesday, saying the rising pace of coronavirus infections could soon lead to the collapse of the country’s health system.

As what appeared to be a “second wave” of infections picked up speed in Israel, Eli Waxman of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who headed the corona advisory team to the National Security Council, told Israel Hayom, “We have lost control of the epidemic.”

“There has been a constant rate of increase [in infections] for over a month,” he said, “and there is no concentration of patients in one area, but throughout the country, and most of the sources of infection are unknown.”

“In some ways, we have already missed the train,” he asserted.

Waxman said the government miscalculated the time to reopen the country following a shutdown, and had failed to enact and enforce restrictions on the public.

To successfully combat the second wave, he said, a single emergency management task force must be created, with one individual given responsibility for managing the crisis.

The Health Ministry and medical system, Waxman said, “cannot perform such a task.”

He added that, if current trends held, Israel had approximately three weeks to get control of the situation.

“Afterwards, we will not be able to stop 500-600 severely ill patients being hospitalized [per day], which would endanger the system,” Waxman said.

If action was not taken now, he added, “the pressure will increase and we will need more severe actions.”

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