Health Minister Yuli Edelstein on Tuesday warned that Israel will soon pass 200 daily coronavirus cases if the public continues to ignore health guidelines.
Israel over the past few weeks has seen a resurgence of COVID-19 as more and more businesses reopen. Over the past few days, the number of daily infections has consistently surpassed 100, steadily increasing every 24 hours.
"The increase in coronavirus infections is becoming worrying,” he said while touring Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva. “We are approaching 200 new patients a day and we had 20 [a day] not long ago. If we don’t act, we’ll be in a very troubling situation,” he added.
Edelstein said the public's "obliviousness and disregard" of the Health Ministry's guidelines have become the turning point in the spread of the pathogen.
“The right way [to combat the spread] is strict enforcement. People need to understand that there is no difference between enforcement, of say traffic laws, and enforcement of coronavirus laws."
The health minister then emphasized the importance of enforcement by highlighting that for instance in Paris, those caught without a protective face mask would be fined 130 euros, so people adhere to the guidelines. In London, meanwhile, a face mask is only a recommendation, so most of the public disregards the order.
"Not wearing a mask, not social distancing, not maintaining basic hygiene is equivalent to driving at 150 mph in an urban area,” he said.
He added the Health Ministry is working on conducting 30,000 coronavirus tests daily. The highest number of tests so far was recorded last week with over 16,000 tests conducted in one day.