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Israel – Professor Barbash: ‘We’re making decisions without knowing the full picture’

103 FM Radio interviewed Professor Gabi Barbash, former Director-General of the Health Ministry and currently Head of the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv and Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University.

“I started to become seriously concerned when I saw [the figures] from the last four days,” Barbash said. “The moment that we saw a jump from 50 to 60 patients per day to 170 and now more than 200 per day, I realized that the coronavirus has started to spread extremely rapidly at an ever-increasing rate, and this is extremely worrying.”

When asked if Israel is losing control of the situation, Professor Barbash replied: “We’re making decisions without the full picture in front of us. Because we don’t yet have extensive testing of the population [i.e. including those not showing symptoms], we’re doing things that maybe we would do differently if we knew better.”

Professor Barbash was present at a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday together with other key officials addressing the crisis. “The Prime Minister understands [the gravity and complexity of the situation],” he said. “He is working to dramatically increase the number of tests performed. This must happen. I am extremely worried about the increase in the rate of infection,” he repeated, “and in particular, about the insufficient response of the general population.”