Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Prof. Ronni Gamzu, who was appointed chief of the national coronavirus task force, will be given full authority to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic.
"Prof. Gamzu has one major mission – to break the chain of contagion," said Netanyahu. "For this purpose, he will be given full authority in three areas – testing, [epidemiological] investigations, and quarantine."
The government will rule on future closures and restrictions in accordance with the policies that Prof. Gamzu will devise."
The premier also said that the IDF will help Prof. Gamzu carry out his policies and that he had agreed with Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz to cut by half the number of panel members at the Coronavirus Cabinet which directs the government's response to the epidemic.
Moreover, Netanyahu promised to roll out further stimulation packages to help encourage employment as the Israeli economy experiences deep turmoil due to prolonged closures and restrictions.
Incoming coronavirus czar Gamzu said that the government is trying its best to fight off the pathogen while avoiding another general lockdown on the economy.
"The mission is to get through this with minimal harm to society and the economy. Lockdown may be an easy fix and is being done in some countries today," said Gamzu. "The Israeli government, and I say this with a lot of respect, tries everything it can without lockdown."