Israel prepares for 2,500 corona patients on ventilators in second wave

Health care staff at an Israeli hospital await patients | Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon

Scenario is based on models that recommend the government equip itself to handle 125,000 cases, with 7,500 patients hospitalized. PM Netanyahu asks for investigation into leaks from Corona Cabinet proceedings.

Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz has approved preparations to handle a moderately serious second wave of coronavirus in which Israel could expect to see 125,000 confirmed cases, 7,500 patients hospitalized, and 2,500 of those patients on ventilators, with hundreds dead.

The scenario, which was presented to the Corona Cabinet on Monday, is based on models that took into account extreme cases from around the world. It should be noted that it does not comprise a prediction, but rather an operational situation for which the Defense Ministry feels the nation should prepare itself.

The Corona Cabinet also approved in a unanimous vote on Monday a decision to prepare for 2,000 corona patients on ventilators and 2,000 patients on ventilators due to other diseases. Speaking at the Corona Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the government must take all necessary action to avoid these scenarios becoming an actuality.

“We are facing a systematic increase in morbidity. We see this not only here, but I regret that we also see it around the world. Various countries have already been forced to deal with this, and we here in Israel as well. Today, we will be presented with outbreak scenarios, but also the recommendations of the team of director generals that I specially convened yesterday, from the ministries of most of the ministers here, in order to bring to us recommendations for action.

“Among the possible actions that we will discuss are a dramatic increase in enforcement – including increasing fines, having a centralized enforcement authority under the Public Security Ministry, and mobilizing additional forces for inspection and enforcement,” Netanyahu told the cabinet.

“Second is the use of digital tools. We know that this is a problematic issue, but on the other hand, we know that it has contributed greatly to reining in the pandemic. We will see how we can overcome the problems in order to achieve a lowering of morbidity,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu said that the third course of action the government might take would be in institute local shutdowns, and also suggested that the cabinet consider restrictions on social gatherings, which he called “a very sharp step.”

The prime minister also addressed what he called the “grave incident” of one of the cabinet’s meetings having been recorded and broadcast in media reports.

“In all my years as prime minister, I do not remember such a thing, either from a cabinet meeting nor from the Corona Cabinet… This cannot be ignored,” Netanyahu said, adding that he would be asking the authorities to approve an investigation into the source of the leak.

(Israel Hayom).


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