Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Prof. Siegal Sadetzki at a press conference about the Coronavirus, February 24, 2020.

Senior epidemiologist Prof. Siegal Sadetzki, the former head of the Public Health Dept. at the Health Ministry, on Tuesday morning told 103FM radio that the latest figure of 9,831 Israelis who tested positive for the Corona (out of 152,614, a rate of 6.44%) proves “the infection continues to spread at a high rate and we need to think about what we’re doing next.”

“We are not able to control the pandemic, that’s clear,” Prof. Sadetzki said. “It’s like the question of whether or not we are in a fourth wave, which we’ve spent too much time debating. The number is not surprising, it was predictable and it is worrying.”


The epidemiologist added: “We cannot afford to have such numbers.”

As of Tuesday morning, there are 678 critical Corona patients in Israeli hospitals, with 123 on respirators (compared to 670 and 108 respectively on Monday). Thirty-four Corona patients died overnight, bringing the total of Corona-related deaths in Israel since the outbreak to 6,864.

Sadecki believes the current Corona restrictions should be extended: “I think crowds should be restricted. I hear the debates and everyone is saying the same thing.”

She also sees no value in using the Green Tag when so many are infected are vaccinated: “In my opinion, this is a good concept with a low number of infections, when the benefits of the vaccines are very high. Today, the concept of the Green Tag that mixes together people we know are contagious and also get infected is wrong. We need to restrict gatherings for everyone, even for vaccinated people, in the current situation. Under different circumstances, we could consider the return of the Green Tag, not today.”

When asked if everyone should be given the third, booster dose of the vaccine in order to eradicate the pandemic, Sadecki replied: “Not yet. It’s true that the pace of immunization, moving to vaccinate age 30 and up, is a very correct pace, done with informed thinking. We know that the third vaccine raises the level of antibodies and we are optimistic that it will increase immunity and lower the number of patients and critically ill patients. But we don’t know by how many, and the higher the number of patients, the higher the creation of critically ill patients, and we can’t afford it.”

She supports starting the new school year on September 1 and suggests that the way to prevent it from causing a faster spread of the disease is by limiting the number of children per classroom. “The right thing to do is to reduce the number of children that each child interacts with,” she recommended.

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