Health Official Won’t Sign Off on Netanyahu Covid Exit Date

YERUSHALAYIM -

A senior official in the Health Ministry is not on the same page with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏’s timetable for a full exit from the covid crisis by April, which he announced on Wednesday.

The head of public health in the Health Ministry, Sharon Alroy-Preis, said on Thursday that “I can’t sign off on reopening in a fortnight, or a month. It all depends on the contagion. I only sign off on things I know, [and] I don’t know what [the situation] will be in a month,” she told Army Radio.

“I look with worry at the reproduction number that is rising, and at the number of severely ill patients that is declining very slowly,” she continued, “If the party in Tel Aviv is an indication of how the people are acting, then we will definitely not be able to go back to normal in a month,” referring to a report on large, crowded gatherings Wednesday night in violation of health regulations.

Alroy-Preis also said the government is considering a smarter version of the Purim curfew.

“We’re thinking of whether we can have specific restrictions. It doesn’t seem proportional to place a nighttime curfew all over the country just because Yerushalayim celebrates Purim on Sunday. We’re thinking of limiting [it to] Yerushalayim alone and placing restrictions where we need to instead of restricting the whole country.”