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Yuli Edelstein: ‘Easy to blame gov’t, without public we won’t succeed’


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Yuli Edelstein: ‘Easy to blame gov’t, without public we won’t succeed’

The Health minister spoke as the Knesset was debating the list of restrictions, which are expected to last two weeks. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) A day before the country is expected to lock down amid much criticism by the public over the nature of the closure, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein spoke…

The Health minister spoke as the Knesset was debating the list of restrictions, which are expected to last two weeks.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein

(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

A day before the country is expected to lock down amid much criticism by the public over the nature of the closure, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein spoke to the people from the Shield of Israel headquarters in Airport City. He said that it is easy to point fingers at different sectors or the government, but in the end, “without the public we cannot succeed” in the fight against coronavirus.

He spoke as the Knesset was debating the list of restrictions, which are expected to last two weeks, but said that they could be shortened or extended depending on the infection rate.

“We are currently in a war for civil peace,” Edelstein said. “I am inundated with questions as to why we allowed the outline of prayers. The answer is that the restrictions apply during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Given this fact, we have proudly approved minyanim [prayer quorums] with all the requirements of the Purple Ribbon so that everyone who wants to pray can – they can hear the shofar or Kol Nidre, each according to their custom.”

He said that the public should cease to ask why prayer and protests are allowed, and instead ask themselves, “What can I do so these restrictions will work, and we will see a different infection rate?”

He said the infection rate is up because schools opened on September 1, claiming that he has the data to show that there are thousands of sick students and teachers throughout the country.

He addressed the pushback against the 500 meters restriction, which medical experts have said has no epidemiological value. He said he agrees – but “there is a very clear socio-managerial logic in this guideline and I call on everyone to keep it. Because without it, we will all visit our families, go to the beach and parks, and the restrictions will continue.”

The medical system is overburdened and overcapacity, Edelstein stressed. Some 3,519 medical personnel are in isolation and 1,284 are sick with coronavirus. “Think how these numbers contribute to the burden on the healthcare system,” he said.

On Wednesday, N12 revealed comments that Edelstein made at a recent ministerial meeting about the plan to lock down. He said, “I consulted with all the senior officials, most of them with advanced degrees and experts in the field, and asked them whether there is a chance that the infection rate will go down under these conditions. To my great disappointment, I did not find anyone who was optimistic.”

On Thursday, the Health Ministry reported 4,537 new cases of the virus in the last day. Some 549 people were in serious condition. The death toll spiked to 1,165.

Health Ministry director-general Chezy Levy also spoke at the briefing.

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