Health Ministry Admits Teverya Lockdown a Mistake

teverya lockdown
Police stand guard at the entrance to a neighborhood in Teverya, Wednesday. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

The lockdown of several neighborhoods in Teverya last week was a mistake, a Health Ministry official admitted on Sunday.

Anat Zurel-Farber, an assistant to the head of public services, told a Knesset committee that the decision was based on an error in their analysis of COVID-19 statistics.

“We strive to thoroughly examine the data,” she said at a hearing of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. “We’re not free of mistakes. There was a mistake in Teverya.”

When the committee chairman, United Torah Judaism MK Yaakov Asher, asked for information on the extent of the error, Zurel-Farber said she didn’t know.

However, she said there were no such errors in the decision to impose a lockdown on part of the chareidi city of Elad.

Justification for the Elad closure has been questioned as well.

The Mayor of Elad complained that “I get a phone call on Friday and the Health Minister informs me Elad is being closed down. I tell him, sure, I’m on board – just let me know what happens once we go ahead with the move. We have a city of 50,000 residents and 63% below the age of 18. How are we going to deal with that? Have the ‘corona hotels’ reopened already? We had 30 CV-19 cases [in the city] and I asked him to let me place them in the hotels and allow life in the city to continue. [He] told they’d handle it. Five days later, I get another call telling me they’re placing my city on lockdown,” Arutz Sheva quoted him as saying.

At Sunday’s Knesset session, MK Gideon Saar (Likud) criticized the lockdown policy in general: “Imposing lockdown isn’t a way of solving the coronavirus crisis — it’s a way of destroying our economy and society [as a whole.]”

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