Health Minister Yuli Edelstein had grim words for Israelis on Tuesday after touring Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, where the dedicated COVID-19 unit was closed on May 20 following the discharge of its final coronavirus patient.
The country has seen a new spike in the daily number of new coronavirus infections throughout the state, Edelstein said, as more businesses reopen.
Since last week the daily rate of infection has consistently passed 100 and is steadily increasing every 24 hours, Edelstein said. Between Monday and Tuesday night, one Israeli died of the virus, raising the coronavirus death toll to 299. In addition, 148 others were diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Health Ministry.
“The increase in morbidity is a dramatic event!” Edelstein warned. “We are progressing at a rate of more than 200 patients a day. It’s a sharp change of direction.
“There is no magic formula here,” he said. “If the guidelines are regarded solely as a recommendation, the corona will not leave us. It’s that simple.
“The most effective way to treat the virus without harming the economy is strict enforcement,” he said.
“There is no difference between enforcing traffic laws and enforcing the corona regulations. Anyone who walks around without a mask is like someone who is driving at 160 mph.
“In 2019, 349 people were killed in road accidents. In the last three months, 298 people have been killed by the coronavirus and more than 18,000 have fallen ill. Let everyone do the math.”