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‘No place for a closure.’ The Corona Committee discusses morbidity data and testing policies

Against the background of the increase in the rate of positive tests, the discussions on closure in the “red cities” inside The Corona Committee in the Knesset, chaired by MK Yifat Shasha Bitton, were resumed in this morning (Monday).

Specialist researchers and doctors participate in a discussion against the background of the increase in the rate of positive tests and threats of closures.

The number of the patients in serious condition and the number of patients on respiratory remains stable, MK Shasha Bitton said at the beginning of the meeting and she will try to understand the gap between the situation created and the official numbers.

“For quite a long time, the general closure has been hovering over us, claiming that we are in an epidemiological reality that requires it,” Shasha Bitton began the meeting. “As much as we dived into the data here we saw that we do not see dramatic data and the increase we see is also very small compared to the verified ones.”

“In the last week there has been an atmosphere that we are facing a catastrophe if we are not in it, so it was important for me to see that we do not miss anything. It is important to explain that the increase in a tense state.”

“We have no idea how things are going – can the reality of today be compared to reallity from yesterday and a week ago. We will try to understand where the gap between the very difficult atmosphere and the numbers we follow for a very long time within the committee came from.”

Shasha Bitton said she asked the committee for data on the victims of the disease: “How Corona killed? We get a lot of testimonies about peoples who died of other causes like accidents but were found positive for Corona and therefore considered Corona cases. I hope today we can get some more accurate answers. What is the reality of the epidemic in Israel today and we want to be able to decide whether the State of Israel really needs a closure or whether we are not in such a reality when it is clear to us what the damage will be inflicted in case of a general closure.”

Collapse of the health care system?

Dr. Amir Shachar, director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Laniado, asked the Ministry of Health on the basis of what data seek to use the lockdown measures to prevent morbidity: “We reach 0.7% mortality on seriously ill patients [in fact – 0.74% of all ill patients]. This is a mortality of the flu. So what is the threat to the population? What are we afraid of? More or less the number of serious patients has ranged from 500 to 600 for many weeks. I am a field man so I can tell you that hospitals are not collapsing today or tomorrow. The last point is the threat of winter, we were in this threat of swine flu in 2009, the conclusions are limited but it is likely that here too, there will be a mild flu, like in Australia for example. I do not see the health care system going into any collapse.”

Remove the quarantine from the agenda

Prof. Udi Kimron of Tel Aviv University supports an upgraded model adopted by Sweden.

“Our conscience does not allow and not support for further restrictions and closures, one has to look at the test of reality,” he said.

“In March they talked to us about a once-in-a-century epidemic of Spanish flu and black death – it was not and was not close to it. After that they talked about 100,000 dead – it did not happen, was not close and will not be. In mid-June we talked about 6,000 respirators until the end of July if there were no steps taken and even though there were no steps, there would have been only about 100 on respirators! The health system is not collapsing!”

Qimron added: “In April Sweden and Britain faced the dilemma of quarantine or freedom of the individual and few restrictions. Britain said they were going to lockdown and Sweden went to their model. “It is the greenest country in Europe.”

“All the scary and restriction-seeking people were wrong in their previous assessments,” he said.

Prof. Ariel Munitz, from the Department of Microbiology at the Tel Aviv University School of Medicine, also supported these data and assessments.

“Even France, where there was a first wave with high mortality, is now experiencing a significant second wave – with zero mortality.”

Qimron, like 120 other executives, concluded that the same model should be used in the country in an upgraded manner.

“This controlled experiment proved that there was no need for closure,” the committee said.

“There were a small number of deaths per million even though there was no closure! We need to stop these intimidations and stop talking about the closure – we need to lower the agenda. We must allow everyone to choose whether they want to put on a mask or not, open public transportation.”

Dr. Ariel Munitz argues that there is no point in performing a high number of tests and directing the money to hospitals: “There is no need to do so many tests. All resources allocated for testing can be channeled to hospitals. These are not survey tests and therefore they do not help us at all in making decisions. A terrible waste of money – give it to the hospitals.”

According to the latest update from the Ministry of Health yesterday, 19,353 tests were performed. About 12% of them – 2,257 tests, were positive. The number of serious patients remains relatively stable and stands at 476 hospitalized. 137 patients are being resuscitated in hospitals across the country.

Header: Israeli police check vehicles at a checkpoint in the ultra Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, on April 3, 2020 during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. – Bnei Brak, runs second in the number of confirmed cases after Jerusalem. Israeli police backed by surveillance helicopters have stepped up patrols of ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods that have become coronavirus hotspots. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Source: News 1 and Arutz Sheva

Note: The original article from News 1 is translated by