Israel's coronavirus czar told Ynet on Thursday he is not considering resigning from his position despite the recent attacks launched against him by some government officials.
Prof. Ronni Gamzu came under attack by several MK's in recent days, in particular by Likud party chair MK Mickey Zohar, over the czar's support of the Ukraine's government decision to ban thousands of Jewish pilgrims from travelling to the city of Uman.
In an interview with Ynet, Gamzu said politicians do not fully understand the difficulty of battling the pandemic.
"Government ministers haven't internalized the hardships faced by the public, the complexity of reducing the number of infections in cities and making the public see the actions meant to reduce the contagion are necessary, because they [the actions] are suffocating," he said.
"During the global coronavirus crisis officials have to make difficult and complex decisions. I fail to understand this attack by MK Zohar. The public expects for decisions be made rather than outlines. I do not want to cut corners regarding the crisis."
According to Gamzu, he does not believe the recent attack made by Zohar had been made on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, like some suggested.
"It is true the prime minister did not reject the outlines proposed by Breslov's followers, but in the end, I decide from a professional standpoint," said Gamzu. "This is how the coronavirus crisis is managed – through a global relationship between professionals."
Prof. Gamzu added he believes the demands of Housing Minster Yaakov Litzman for his resignation over his call to ban Jewish pilgrims from travelling to Ukraine hold no merit "other than to create headlines."
The czar also said the school year is set to reopen next week as planned except for communities with an exceptionally high coronavirus infection rate. "This was my recommendation and going by the last cabinet meeting, it seems my recommendation will be implemented. Unfortunately, no final decision has been made as of yet."
Prof. Gamzu added that his "Traffic light" outline - which would see more coronavirus tests conducted in "red" cities with high infection rates - will reveal more patients than previously assessed once the plan is approved by the government.
He also praised the appointment of Dr. Sharon Elrai as interim head of the public health service, replacing Prof. Siegal Sadetzki.
"Sharon Elrai is a breath of fresh air," said Gamzu. "She works 24/7 unlike Sadetzki, and that's always good… She shows the complexity and has the drive to conquer this issue of epidemiological investigations."