Newly appointed health minister said Monday he is prepared to do his best if another wave of coronavirus hits Israel in the coming months.
Speaking at a ceremony where he officially took control of the office from Yaakov Litzman, Yuli Edelstein thanked his predecessor and said he is ready for the challenges ahead.
“I intend to make sure that we invest all the resources in preparing for a second wave [of COVID-19] if it comes, and if it doesn’t come then it is a historic opportunity to improve the healthcare system in the State of Israel.”
Litzman, who also spoke at the ceremony, said the Health Ministry under his leadership might have acted "too strongly" in the battle against the COVID-19 epidemic, in an apparent dig aimed at outgoing Director General of Health Ministry Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov.
"I don't know how many sick are there right now, but the number is low and we draw [conclusions] from that," Litzman said at a ceremony welcoming his successor. "We succeeded, in large part thanks to our isolation and caution measures, some might have been too harsh, but we did good things," he added.
"We must also deal with the issue later so that, God forbid, it does not return next winter. We must be careful.”
Bar-Siman-Tov for his part thanked Litzman for his support and said the virus "isn't resting" despite the low number of new cases.
“Don't be complacent, this war to save lives goes on. Be alert, be professional and don't panic. We won’t be forgiven if we don’t use this time to prepare for a second wave,” he said.