Wednesday, November 25th | 9 Kislev 5781

Subscribe
July 7, 2020 6:54 am

Israeli Public Health Director Quits, Raps Swift Reopening of Economy

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Customers line up inside an IKEA store in Rishon Lezion, Israel, amid the coronavirus pandemic, April 23, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

Israel’s public health director quit on Tuesday amid a spike in new coronavirus cases, saying it had reopened the economy too rapidly and had lost its way in dealing with the pandemic.

Siegal Sadetzki, an epidemiologist, announced her resignation a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet reimposed a series of restrictions, including the closure of bars, gyms and event halls.

After a national lockdown in April, Israel flattened the coronavirus infection curve in May to about 20 new cases a day.

But since the reopening of schools and many businesses two months ago, the number of cases has soared, reaching more than 1,000 a day last week. The Health Ministry said it expected the number of patients on ventilators — now 32 — to reach 2,000.

Related coverage

November 25, 2020 10:34 am
0

Israeli Envoy Calls for UN Action Against Iran Over Its Actions in Syria

JNS.org - Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan has called on the UN Security Council to take immediate...

In a statement on Facebook, Sadetzki said she decided to resign because her warnings about attempting to return to normal conditions too quickly had been ignored.

“It has been several weeks since Israel’s compass for handling the pandemic has lost its bearings,” she wrote.

“The achievements in dealing with the first wave (of infections) were cancelled out by the broad and swift opening of the economy” that outpaced many other countries.

With only 37% of Israelis trusting the government’s handling of the pandemic, according to a survey published on Monday by N2 News, against 59% who distrust it, her criticism of official policy could add to a sense of public unease.

At a cabinet session on Monday, Netanyahu said Israel needed to take “limited actions” now to avoid a wider lockdown later that could paralyze its economy, where unemployment is just above 20%.

In her statement, Sadetzki recommended that Israel limit gatherings to no more than 20 people and reimpose greater social distancing in work places and schools.

Israel, with a population of nine million, has reported more than 31,000 coronavirus cases and 338 dead.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner

Algemeiner.com

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.