Katz: No More Shutdowns

Tracks on the Israel Railway in the southern part of the country. (Nati Shohat/Flash90/File Photo)

Finance Minister Yisrael Katz said on Wednesday evening that there would be no turning back now that the economy was in the process of reopening, even if the coronavirus persists.

The government was not thinking of new shutdowns to stem infections.

“We won’t close anything across the board. We can deal with it in a pinpoint manner with enforcement and quarantine. We won’t close any industry across the board. Even if we experience what happened here at the beginning [a sharp rise in virus cases], there is no room for a general closure,” Katz told Channel 13.

He said the “situation of the economy and Israeli society is likely the most dire in the history of the state, or at least in past decades.”

Katz was a strong advocate for restarting the trains next Monday, over the opposition of the Health Ministry, and his view on future response seemed to be at odds with that of Health Minister Yuli Edelstein’s.

The latter warned on Wednesday after the coronavirus cabinet decision to reopen the trains: “If there is no public discipline, we will not re-open the railway system and cultural institutions. We can’t allow the morbidity rate to go back up as a result of people ignoring instructions.”

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