בני ברק בצל הקורונה
Home Front Command troops in Bnei Brak
Photo: Nadav Eves
Man wearing face mask in Bnei Brak during coronavirus pandemic

Gamzu advisers resign as Bnei Brak may face 2nd lockdown, cite lack of transparency

City council members claim in resignation letter that municipal committee, that advises Gamzu, has no real influence on policymaking; locals concerned over ramifications of another lockdown on city

Itay Blumenthal |
Published: 09.03.20 , 17:13
Two Bnei Brak city council members resigned on Thursday in protest of what they deemed as "non-transparent" conduct by Israel's coronavirus task force, headed by the country's top health official, Prof. Ronni Gamzu.
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  • City council members, Arik Adler and Avarahamn Yustman, claimed in their resignation letter that the municipal committee, which advises Gamzu, had no real effect over policymaking.
    בני ברק בימי הקורונהבני ברק בימי הקורונה
    Man wearing face mask in Bnei Brak during coronavirus pandemic
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    "We have repeatedly warned that if there will be no transparency, we will not gain the public's trust, but as stated, the powers that be chose to go down a path that includes irresponsible statements and reckless actions that were not made as a joint decision," the letter read.
    Adler and Yustman argued that Gamzu's "traffic light model" - which designates localities as red, orange or green contingent upon the community's coronavirus infection rates - included criteria that could unjustifiably harm certain populations.
    Bnei Brak may soon be designated as a "red area" due to a dramatic uptick in the number of coronavirus cases in the ultra-Orthodox city which may bring, in turn, a host of restrictions on commerce, education and movement.
    בני ברק בצל הקורונהבני ברק בצל הקורונה
    Home Front Command troops in Bnei Brak
    (Photo: Nadav Eves)
    Locals expressed their concerns over the ramifications of another lockdown on the city that already experienced an extensive closure during Passover back in April.
    "The city's residents are trying to be very careful, but there is a lot of population density in the area and hence the high number of cases," said a local named Yehuda. "Closing down the education system would clearly be a clear mistake because then everyone will roam the streets. We must not return to lockdowns."
    "People must understand that this has nothing to do with politics but observing the [Health Ministry] regulations," said a local named Yossef. "I hope there won't be another lockdown. It's going to wreak havoc on our education system and businesses. We're already out of money? Where will get money from?"
    The municipality boasts the fact that the number of people infected with the virus declined in the last month in the city that has recorded 689 COVID-19 cases since Friday alone.
    לוחמי הצנחנים וחטיבת הקומנדו מחלקים מנות מזון בבני ברקלוחמי הצנחנים וחטיבת הקומנדו מחלקים מנות מזון בבני ברק
    Home Front Command forces preparing supplies for residents during Bnei Brak's first coronavirus lockdown in April
    (Photo: IDF's Spokesperson's Unit)
    They noted that about 100 of the new cases are students in yeshivas outside the city but are included in the data since they are registered as residents of Bnei Brak.
    The municipality plans to increase testing and continues its efforts to transfer patients to designated quarantine hotels with the help of Home Front Command.
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