Researchers Warn: Without Proper Lockdown, Another 2,500 Israelis May Die

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Magen David Adom ambulance seen outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A report by a team of researchers from Hebrew University and Hadassah predicts a significant increase in the number of critically ill coronavirus patients in Israel in the coming days.

The data published on Thursday shows that the health system will reach the threshold of its collapse in the near future, regardless of the planned countrywide closure which will commence on Friday afternoon.

The researchers argue that an effective closure must be implemented in order to prevent a further increase in these numbers and that all gatherings must be banned.

The plan published by the government allows for several exceptions during the lockdown, including holding mass demonstrations.

The researchers concluded that the expected mortality in a closure scenario is 1,000 to 2,500 additional deaths, beyond the 1,165 Israelis who have already succumbed to the virus.

The researchers pointed out that their conclusions are based on the assumption that the protection plan for old age homes will be effective. Efforts should be focused on maintaining these capabilities, they stressed.

They further emphasized that the realization of a rapid epidemiological system is essential for an exit from the closure and is expected to help reduce the expected damage.