Sarit Rosenblum
Sarit Rosenblum
Photo: Ynet
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses the new rise in the number of coronavirus cases

Israel must end this coronavirus chaos

Opinion: Politicians have to take a step back and let the experts dictate the necessary steps to combat COVID-19 without political considerations or pressure from lobbyists, for what we have now is no better than Russian roulette

Sarit Rosenblum |
Published: 06.18.20 , 23:53
Sweden was the only country to adopt an original policy to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
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  • The Swedish government refrained from imposing any closures on the country and its economy and allowed its population to go about their business undisturbed, though it did issue health guidance recommending social distancing.
    בנימין נתניהובנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses the new rise in the number of coronavirus cases
    (Photo: GPO)
    It seemed to be a successful policy by late April, with the country's chief infectious disease expert claiming Sweden was on its way to the coveted herd immunity believed to be the solution to the coronavirus.
    But soon after that, the number of fatalities as a result of COVID-19 grew and in early June, the same proponents of the Swedish policy admitted they had made a mistake.
    Unlike the Swedish example and its unfortunate outcome, Israel appears now to be choosing a similar path - but not as a result of a clear policy decision, rather as the result of a chaotic process.
    נגיף קורונה שטוקהולם שבדיה נגיף קורונה שטוקהולם שבדיה
    Sweden during the coronavirus pandemic
    (photo: AFP)
    There is no government strategy to deal with the pandemic and contain its spread in order to avoid having to reimpose a closure on the country.
    While the number of confirmed cases is on the rise, the government in an outrageous and populist decision on Wednesday, allowed crowds of hundreds of people to congregate in cultural events and celebrations.
    This is a gamble that the coronavirus had already shown was dangerous and could become fatal. It is no better than a game of Russian roulette.
    The virus remains a mystery in many aspects. The damage COVID-19 inflicts on the human body surprises medical practitioners daily, as does its durability and its ability to spread.
    מודדים חום ב כניסה למסעדה ב תל אביב ישראל נגיף קורונה הקורונהמודדים חום ב כניסה למסעדה ב תל אביב ישראל נגיף קורונה הקורונה
    A man has his temperature taken before entering a Tel Aviv restaurant
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Leading experts in the field refrain from anticipating the pandemic's next step, and no one can say what the world will look like in its wake.
    But the dire consequences of the coronavirus in Europe and the United States dictate caution and even humility, even when faced with public criticism. Better safe than sorry.
    Much has been prescribed in order to slow the spread of the virus. Primarily for politicians to take a step back and allow health professionals and other experts to take over and layout a strategy to best deal with this disease.
    Decisions on when to impose and lift measures cannot be made according to political calculations or under pressure from lobbyists.
    תל אביבתל אביב
    A bar opens in Tel Aviv following the lockdown
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's frequent consultations with international health officials, as he often claims he has been having, cannot determine the path that Israel must take in order to manage this prolonged crisis.
    If we want to come out of the pandemic with relative success, we must end the haphazard manner of dealing with COVID-19.
    This government is gambling with our health and our future and we may all end up having to pay the cost.
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