- Israel holds the reputation of being an international model of COVID-19 success.
- It is also the first country to impose strict travel restrictions and business closures early on to contain the dreaded virus.
- However, the second wave of coronavirus hit the country badly soon after the government started to lift restrictions.
After Israel has been hailed as the champion of the fight against COVID-19, the country is now struggling as it faces the unexpected second wave of the dreaded virus. From 20 cases daily in the middle of May, individuals getting infected have now escalated to 1,000 new cases a day in July.
The second wave hit Israel two weeks after it reopened its restaurants, pub, gyms, pools, event halls, and other public places. This eventually forced the government to close all establishments “indefinitely”. While restaurants and churches will remain in operation with limited number of people permitted within their premises.
In a dire warning, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the country received 90 severe cases and the figure is expected to double every four days.
“If we do not act now, we will have hundreds, and perhaps over 1,000 severe cases in the coming weeks, which will paralyze our systems,” Netanyahu said.
” All citizens of Israel know, or need to understand, that we must now take limited actions, with as minimal an economic impact as possible, in order to avoid those extreme measures that will paralyze the economy,” he added.
Netanyahu is in desperate move to avoid a complete lockdown citing more than 20% of unemployment rate since the pandemic hit the countries.
Based on a survey, public confidence in Netanyahu’s leadership of coronavirus handling is fading fast. From a high 73% public approval in mid-May down to 46%.
Aside from that, his top official in the Health Ministry Professor Siegal Sadetzki tendered his resignation. Along with his quitting, Sadetzki criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic.
“To my regret, for a number of weeks the handling of the outbreak has lost direction. Despite systemic and regular warnings in the various systems and in the discussions in different forums, we watch with frustration as the hour glass of opportunities runs low,” she said.
Meanwhile, some of Israel’s media sources, according to CNN, are reportedly more interested in the political fight between the Prime Minister and his defense minister Benny Gantz. The two gentlemen have been competing against who would best handle the fight against COVID-19.
Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman joined the squabble and criticized Netanyahu, saying:
“This government is crap, and the Prime Minister is full of crap”.
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