Health Official Admits Cluelessness in Tracking Coronavirus

YERUSHALAYIM -
Inspectors on patrol for people who are not wearing face masks, in Tzfas on Monday. (David Cohen/Flash90)

The Health Ministry has been doing something right in containing the coronavirus, but Israel’s head of Public Health Services doesn’t know exactly what.

“Right now, we don’t have markers to detect who is spreading the virus, as we did in the beginning. We don’t know where we need to be particularly careful, and where we need to carry out more tests — and this is the problem,” Prof. Sigal Sadetzky told the Kan public broadcaster on Monday.

Nevertheless, said Sadetzky, the situation is not “out of control.”

“The disease is spreading more slowly now than it did previously because we did learn some things, [but] our [detection] capabilities are worse than they were. It worries me.”

A Ministry update on Monday said that 182 new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of active infections to 3,520.

35 people are in serious condition, 25 of them on ventilators. Another 45 are in moderate condition and the rest are displaying mild symptoms.

No additional deaths were recorded since Monday morning, and the toll held at 302.

The ministry data says 8,840 coronavirus tests were conducted on Sunday.

The city with the most new cases in the past three days is Tel Aviv-Jaffa, with 50, followed by Rahat (32), Baqa al-Gharbiyye (27), Haifa (24), and Yerushalayim (19).

Meanwhile, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein lectured MKs in the Knesset plenum for going about without face masks.

MKs “walk around the Knesset without masks and call me ‘a pest’ when I tell them off,” says Edelstein.

“But when they fear they’ve been infected by the coronavirus, they use their personal connections, jump through hoops and bypass the line. Where’s the personal example?”

“If we don’t observe the rules, we won’t be able to keep the economy open, over time,” he warned, not for the first time.