The government’s coronavirus czar Nachman Ash urges Israelis to exercise caution as many parts of the economy and school system reopen for the first time in months.
“It is not over. We must continue to be careful, keeping social distance and wearing masks. We have a ways until it is over,” Ash tells Ynet.
“This is clear to everyone and the prime minister knows this,” he adds.
Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Fox News that while Israelis will have to wear masks for the foreseeable future, the pandemic was largely behind them.
But not all health experts were as pessimistic as Ash. Speaking on a panel organized by Channel 12, his predecessor Ronni Gamzu says, “The concern is exaggerated.”
Gamzu, who heads Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital, calls for the economy to be reopened at a faster pace. “I understand the complexity, but the focus should be socioeconomic empowerment. Our main goal has been achieved with the vaccines.”
Ze’ev Rubinstein, who heads Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital, tells the panel that Israel has reached herd immunity.
Ash, in the Ynet interview, says 2 million more Israelis must be vaccinated before that will be the case.