Health Ministry Director General Prof. Nachman Ash on Monday slammed Israel's coronavirus cabinet, accusing it of snubbing recommendations of health officials due to "other considerations".
Prof. Ash told Ynet despite the decline in the R number (the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to), the national infection rate is still exceptionally high. Earlier, the Health Ministry reported that nearly 11,000 people had tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, breaking the single-day caseload record.
He also for the first time admitted that the Health Ministry's recommendations to limit public gatherings have been on multiple occasions rejected by the coronavirus cabinet.
"I think epidemiologically this is not correct [not to limit gatherings] and it can increase infections, but there are other considerations that are practical," he said.
"The Health Ministry has called to restrict large gatherings - such as huge concerts that are sometimes attended by those who don't observe the mask mandate - but this recommendation was not accepted."
He said the proposal was made during Monday's meeting but once again was snubbed.
"In the end there is a discussion with a lot of people with different opinions, and you cannot expect all positions to be accepted. Even though we would like everything we propose to be accepted."
He also revealed the vaccination campaign will begin in schools on September 1, but initially the drive be held in a limited format, in only 50 educational facilities.
Prof. Ash added the reason for the limited scope of initial vaccination campaign in schools is because it is done by private companies hired by the state. "It will not be done by HMOs, but by other companies - led by the Home Front Command."