Israel's National Coronavirus Project Coordinator Prof. Ronni Gamzu held a press conference today to mark the start of a stabilization of the infection rate in the overall population. Despite the easing of the situation in terms of the virus, Gamzu reiterated the decision made by the coronavirus cabinet and insists that only next week would it be clear if it will be the right time to relax the current lockdown. The infection reproduction number (R), he says, reflects the situation in the field two weeks ago, so that it is too early to say anything for sure and we must wait a few more days.
Gamzu said, "We see a certain fall in the rate of positive tests and the rate of infection. There are signs of a fall but because we are talking about the disruptions of the holidays, we do not know for certain if the R rate has crossed the threshold of one and we believe it is hovering around 1."
"If I had to say that we have a level of infection falling throughout the country, then I am not certain about that. The lockdown has been very effective and I already see a fall in contacts and infections. It depends on how we continue from here including enforcement, which is a very important element. In the last cabinet meet, I asked and they accepted my proposal to increase the fines given for violating the lockdown and in particular violating isolation as well as for businesses and gatherings such as weddings. The fines are currently small and not enough of a deterrent."
Gamzu was asked whether he thought that Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel should resign after being caught violating the lockdown. "I don't decide what ministers should do. The instructions say that we should only be with the nuclear family. It is not the time to visit family and friends. It's no difference to me if it is a regular citizen or public figure, we must all be strict about this. This is the only way to overcome the current situation. Anybody who has chosen to be a public representative must understand that the rules are for everyone and for them even more so. If they break the rules that is between them and all of society and I say to public figures, don't look to have it easier or for short cuts. Go as straight as you can, the straightest that there is. We are imposing so much on the public and they want to see that we are at least doing what we are asking them to do.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 6, 2020
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