Health Official Says Economy Won’t Reopen Immediately After Pesach


Comments reported in the media in recent days about a gradual reopening of the economy after Pesach were rejected by a senior health official on Sunday.

Deputy Director-General of the Health Ministry, Prof. Itamar Grotto, told the newly-formed Knesset committee on the coronavirus crisis, “We have no intention or ability to open the economy the day after Pesach. I did not recommend it. There is a myth here. Even if we write a million checks a day, we cannot free the economy,” Grotto said.

During the hearing, a dispute emerged over the volume of testing for the coronavirus.

When Prof. Grotto stated that over 100,000 tests have been carried out so far, the chairman of the committee, Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah, challenged him with lower numbers of his own.

At which point, Hadassah CEO, Prof. Zeev Rothstein interjected, “Ministry of Health data is inaccurate, to say the least.”

An irate Grotto replied: “Ah, Rothstein, if you continue like this, believe me, it won’t go well. So, okay? I think our data is accurate, I have 100 times more accurate data than your own, so stop messing this up.”

Turning to the committee members, Grotto then said: “I suggest you decide if you want me or want Rothstein, who doesn’t even have a public health specialty.”

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