Israel's coronavirus czar said Tuesday that 20% of recent coronavirus cases have been recorded within the Haredi sector, which he's afraid might get worse during the upcoming Jewish holidays.
Prof. Nachman Ash said not only the ultra-Orthodox sector makes up a big chunk of the overall infection numbers, the rate of contagion within the community is much higher than the national average.
"Despite a decrease in infection within the sector, the positive rate in ultra-Orthodox municipalities is close to 20%," he said. "Despite the decline, the infection is still worrying and stands at about 20% of the overall [recent] cases, double the ratio of the general population."
Health officials recently said they might recommend imposing a lockdown during the holidays of Purim and Passover if the surge in infections doesn't slow down. Prof. Ash urged the Haredi sector to be "responsible" during the holidays and adhere to guidelines.
"Celebrate while maintaining the sanctity of life. There is no need to pay [for celebrations] in human life. Everyone should take care of themselves, their family and friends and not act irresponsibly. We all remember the wave of infections after Purim last year."
He also slammed mass funerals that took place in Jerusalem recently, in which thousands of ultra-Orthodox members took part in the midst of the nationwide lockdown and a surge in new COVID mutations in the country.
"My heart aches at the knowledge that such funerals will give way to more funerals. I understand the need and the importance, but one has to think about the consequences of these acts," he said.