Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis
Dr. Sharon Alroy-PreisArutz Sheva

Prof. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of Public Health Services, denied on Friday that health officials are pushing the government to impose a lockdown during the high holidays following a spike in cases of COVID-19.

Speaking to Channel 12 News, Alroy-Preis said, "I do not understand how we got to a discourse on lockdowns. We are not in a place of a lockdown on the holidays. There is a lot of misinformation that the Ministry of Health is pushing for a lockdown on the holidays. The right thing to do is to run a green passport in a broad way - but in order to do that you need a wide range of tests and allow children to be tested."

"We are trying to put this slogan of living with the coronavirus into practice - and that means the green passport. The coronavirus is here and will be here and we need to live with it - and the solution is testing to prevent infection," she stressed. "The effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing infection is around 60% but its effectiveness in preventing serious illness is 93% which is very significant and the vaccines are very helpful. When we live in a country where a third of the population is not vaccinated (especially children), there is a fertile ground for infection, so we need to reach a situation in which we are living with the virus."

Dr. Alroy-Preis clarified that the Ministry of Health pushed for an outline of a green passport with speed tests a long time ago - but could not implement it.

"We wanted to activate a green passport with speed tests long ago and it did not succeed because it was privately funded and the parents didn’t want to pay for it - and therefore we have to change our tone in the sense that if one lives in a coronavirus routine - and the basis for this is testing - the state should fund it," she said.

Dr. Alroy-Preis was also asked about reports this week saying that Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton had demanded that she be fired.

"She (Shasha-Biton) did not speak to me. I am a doctor and epidemiologist and my job is to take care of public health and that is what I do. There are no agendas. We need to look at the data and make the right decisions on how to deal with the pandemic," said Alroy-Preis.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)