The chair of the Knesset committee on handling the coronavirus crisis said Sunday she opposes a nationwide lockdown on the Jewish High Holidays, adding she doesn't understand the government's "obsession" with the measure.
Coronavirus cabinet has approved a lockdown of so-called “red towns” starting Monday, with the final list of communities set to be decided on during a government meeting later. The government also set to discuss whether to impose another nationwide lockdown during the holidays in September.
MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, Likud, told Ynet she is "unequivocally" opposed to a general closure. "I cannot understand the obsession with imposing a full lockdown on the country," she said. "We have been in this for half a year and the health care system should have been bolstered. They haven't done it."
She said the public is "exhausted" by constant threats of a fresh lockdown. "Anyone who thinks a virus can be defeated does not talk realistially. Precise data must be presented to the public in order to regain its trust," she said.
"It's clear we are in an epidemic, but we need to look at the concrete numbers - when it comes to seriously ill and intubated patients - our situation is stable."
She also hinted that government officials are playing politics when it comes to imposing health restrictions. "We have been talking about a lockdown for a month, while on the other hand, trying to send 30,000 to Uman," she said, referring to an outline, according to which, Jewish pilgrims could travel to Ukraine for Rosh Hashanah.
Finally, Shasha-Bitton added that a lockdown during the High Holidays could have wide-ranging economic implications.
"Whoever says there will be no damage to the economy during the closure on the holidays does not understand how the economy works," she said. "In the periphery, people live from the money earned during this period for the rest of the year. Gathering should be regulated according to the rules."