The corona projector, Professor Roni Gamzo, presented today (Thursday) the main points of the “Magen Israel” program he presented yesterday at the Corona Cabinet. Gamzo’s “traffic light” program creates a system for labeling corona virus spread levels in different parts of the country, cataloging local authorities by traffic light colors: green, yellow, orange and red. The idea is to allow municipalities to take a more active part in managing residents and cooperate with the Ministry of Health and the IDF to stop the spread.
After presenting the program and the models, which were supported by the Corona Cabinet, the Jerusalem Post checked with several senior medical experts their assessment of Gamzo’s program.
Netanyahu marks a goal on the way to a vaccine for Corona. Photo: GPO
Cyril Cohen, head of the immunology lab at Bar Ilan University, said Gamzo avoided what could have been an unjustified and ineffective closure. “I hear a lot of people say that if we go into quarantine we will stop the virus.” Cohen noted that if nothing else changes, within two weeks of entering the closure, Israel will return to where it started when it comes to the rate of infection – and even worse economically.
Moreover, Cohen said, if we look closely at the data, we see a kind of flattening of the curve. According to him, Gamzo looks not only at the total number of new patients but at the number of serious patients. “Right now, hospitals say they are able to maintain it – it’s not the best, but they can handle it,” Cohen said.
Cohen stressed that “we see, based on the data, that there are hotspots – that cause hotspots in Israel. So the idea of trying to be more focused – such as the traffic light – is a good thing. However, Cohen said he believes such a plan may be complicated to implement.” “Israel is a small country and there is politics involved in imposing restrictions on some communities and not on others,” he said.
The director of Hadassah Medical Center, Zeev Rothstein, told the Jerusalem Post that the number of serious patients is declining, as is the total number of patients. In addition, the adhesion ratio continues to fall below 1. “Under such surveillance no further restrictions are required,” Rothstein said, emphasizing “additional.” That is, he does not recommend removing any of the remaining restrictions. “Calls for closure by the government are not justified,” said Prof. Rothstein.
However, he noted that the number of patients in Jerusalem is less than satisfactory, as is the infection rate, which stands at about 1.5. Rothstein stressed that if part of the population does not want to be tested then it could lead to declaring entire neighborhoods as red instead of green. Rothstein further noted that postponing the closure would help achieve one of Gamzo’s most important and urgent goals – gaining public trust.
Another expert, Arnon Afek, deputy director general of Sheba Medical Center – Tel Hashomer, reinforced Rothstein’s remarks. I hope the public understands the need to cooperate to prevent closure.
Afek stressed that “we are not sure we will not have to go to quarantine,” but if that happens, he wants the people of Israel to know that the government and the medical professionals in the country “did their best to prevent it.”