רן בליצר
Prof. Ran Balicer
Photo: Orel Cohen
A coronavirus test lab in Or Yehuda

Advisor to coronavirus cabinet warns positivity rate plateaues

Professor Ran Balicer attributes stalled decline to a reduction in daily testing for the virus; says ministers face critical decisions so as not to reverse the achievements of the recent lockdown; warns there can be no short cuts to exit strategy decided on by government

Nir Cohen |
Updated: 11.03.20 , 14:37
Founding Director of the Clalit Research Institute, and senior advisor to the coronavirus cabinet, Prof. Ran Balicer, warned Tuesday that the infection rate has stopped its decline nationwide.
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  • One reason, he said is the the overall decrease in the number of tests conducted.
    מעדבדה לבדיקות קורונה קופת חולים לאומית באור יהודהמעדבדה לבדיקות קורונה קופת חולים לאומית באור יהודה
    A coronavirus test lab in Or Yehuda
    (Photo: EPA)
    “You can’t test people against their will,” Balicer said. “In Slovakia they are testing the entire country in the span of a few days… Out of 2 and a half million people, they found around 25,000 new cases." Still the professor disagrees with the Slovanian approach, "You conduct a lot of inaccurate tests on low-risk populations.”
    Balicer said the latest data dictates a very critical decision making process, mainly on how to effectively reopen the economy without reversing all the achievements gained after the recent month-long lockdown.
    “I think it is necessary to open a small business, according to health guidelines of course, and the second very important thing is a differential policy in areas with high morbidity,” says Prof. Balicer. “ it is of course important to continue to follow the rules at all times, this includes social distancing, wearing masks and banning crowded events.”
    רן בליצררן בליצר
    Prof. Ran Balicer senior adviser to the government's response team to the coronavirus pandemic
    (Photo: Orel Cohen)
    "The government must follow the phased exit out of lockdown restrictions decided upon, and not cut corners," he said adding that while there are very real dilemmas between the medical and economic aspects of the crisis, “no hard working citizen should have to choose between health and economics.”
    “I think if there had been a solution that would have compensated business owners during the crisis, like we see in some places around the world, we would have seen better results,” he said.
    עסקים סגורים בירושליםעסקים סגורים בירושלים
    Businesses closed in Jerusalem due to the pandemic
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Since Sunday, 863 people have been confirmed with COVID-19 showing a positivity rate of 2.3% after 34,128 tests conducted.
    There are currently 9,769 people battling the virus, 622 are hospitalized and 382 in serious condition, 164 of them on ventilators.
    Since the start of the pandemic 2,580 have succumbed to the virus.

    First published: 14:34 , 11.03.20
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