Coronavirus manager Ronni Gamzu issued a call of alarm to Arab communities on Tuesday:
“I call on Arab society and leaders to act. This is a catastrophe. Local authorities in Arab areas see it; feel very, very unsettled, because this is creating infection cycles,” Gamzu said at a weekly briefing.
“We clearly see an increase in morbidity in Arab society,” said Gamzu. “Weddings and other events take place and this creates circles of infection.”
”Our Arab desk chief has put a lot of effort into dealing with this. I call on Arab society and the relevant religious leaders and heads of the authorities from here – this is truly a disaster. This brings us to an increase of over 50 new patients a day.
“Some have warned of a collapse, but the healthcare system is functioning the best of all of Israel’s systems,” Gamzu stated. “The solution is not a lockdown and I hope we do not reach that point. The cabinet ministers should listen to me because my considerations are only professional in nature.”
Gamzu expressed frustration that his warnings and recommendations were being resisted, making it hard to carry out his mission of bringing the daily infection rate down to below 400 new cases.
Regarding the restrictions on flights to Uman, which has become a point of contention, Gamzu said that “it is unreasonable to have 80 flights to Uman given the increase in [Covid] cases. I will not change my mind on this.”
“I am not going to back down from doing my job,” he declared, “but if I am not given the tools necessary to reduce the morbidity rate then there is nothing I can do.”
“My firm opinion is no. I have said it several times and I do not want to repeat this story. I will not change my mind,” he said.
Meanwhile, two more members of Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party were sent into quarantine on Monday after a colleague was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Sunday, two days after a meeting with the rest of her party.
Tourism Minister Asaf Zamir and Tehila Friedman joined Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn and MK Ayelet Shaked of Yamina, who had announced earlier that they were entering quarantine after meetings with the minister.