Researchers call cemetery closures 'utterly wrong and unfortunate'

Hebrew University researchers argue economy should not be halted, closure policy could be replaced by measures to prevent virus spread.

Mordechai Sones ,

Mount Herzl
Mount Herzl
Flash 90

Three researchers from the Hebrew University, Prof. Dudi Gershon and Prof. Alexander Lipton from the Faculty of Business and Prof. Hagai Levin from the School of Public Health, claim that the government's closure and economic policies are incorrect.

According to a study carried out by the three, "If a state like the State of Israel takes non-closure mitigation steps such as physical distancing as much as possible while continuing work, isolating patients and those who were in close contact with them, maintaining personal hygiene including using masks, and stricter measures for the high-risk population, then almost always there can be no general closure for the entire population."

Prof. Dudi Gershon added: "The decision to close hermetically Memorial Day and thus prevent entry of bereaved families into the cemeteries is utterly wrong and unfortunate."

He said, "The possibility of entering the cemeteries will not adversely affect the spread of the disease and will only harm the bereaved families who have lost that dearest to them."

"The decision to continue the closure is not supported in our study," Prof. Gershon emphasized, "according to the results of our study, if we remove the closure and replace it with a physical distancing policy as far as possible while continuing to work, isolate patients, and maintain personal hygiene including the use of masks, then we will not reach overcrowding in ICUs.

"The high-risk population is already aware of the danger and the need to watch themselves more than the low-risk population, so let the bereaved families decide on their own whether or not to go to the cemetery," Prof. Gershon argued.



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