Israelis Fear Another Coronavirus Strike Could Collapse State’s Health Care System

Israeli Knesset (Wikimedia Commons)

No sooner had a three-week lockdown commenced in Israel last Friday than government officials began talking about tightening restrictions, fearing that the current ones will not be effective enough to slow down the spread of the coronavirus in Israel.

Israel’s hospitals raised the “red flag” last week, alerting authorities that the rapidly rising rate of infections could collapse the health care system. In fact, on Wednesday, a record number of 6,923 new virus cases was reported in one day. Doctors predict that soon the Israeli health care system would be unable to provide optimal treatment to patients with COVID-19 in serious condition.

“The question is not the number of beds, but who is taking care of the patients,” Prof. Gil Fire told Ynet. “There is only a limited number of trained doctors who know how to treat serious patients. The workload is unusual, especially in light of the workload at other hospitals that refer to us [patients]. Our emergency room is very busy; patients are lying in the corridors and in the last week, we have seen an increase in admissions to the general emergency department.”

A second national shutdown began on Friday afternoon with the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, and shuttered restaurants, mall, gyms and schools for at least three weeks while limiting the number of people in workplaces and houses of worship and restricting resident to a 1 km perimeter from their homes.

Among the closed businesses suffering are restaurants. The organization Restaurateurs Stronger Together said the lack of financial support from the government during the first lockdown and the ramifications expected from this second lockdown were going to decimate their livelihoods.

“I announced in advance that I do not plan on closing until I get compensation in my bank account, and I made good on my promise,” said the owner of a Jaffa cafe.

Another business owner declared his establishment a place to “protest” since demonstrations are allowed under the new lockdown.

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SOURCE: Charisma News