Bennett's coronavirus exit strategy - quarantine only those at risk

Defense Minister presents plan to reopen economy to near-100% while keeping those over 65 or at-risk home.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Tal Oz/Defense Ministry

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett participated in the government's debate on the exit strategy from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, and presented his position on managing the crisis, with an emphasis on reopening the economy as soon as the growth curve of infections levels off.

The Minister presented a mathematical model that draws on conversations with epidemiologists and experts from the Hebrew University, and which is based on the daily growth rate in the number of new confirmed cases.

According to the model, the economy can and should be opened as soon as the rate of new infections decreases to a minimal level, which is the only reliable figure available in the absence of a mass testing program.

In addition, Bennett presented a practical plan for reopening the economy starting this Sunday, and these are its principles:

1. People over 65 or those at higher risk will remain at home and be eligible for unemployment benefits.

2. Opening of the economy (trade, services, manufacturing) to 100% as early as Sunday; setting strict rules and conditions (such as disinfection of stipulated communal areas, workers having their temperature measured, social distancing, etc.). Anyone who violates these rules will be severely punished.

3. Resumption of special education as well as preschool (to enable parents to return to work). Fourth and sixth grade teachers will teach in the same classes, thus doubling the number of teachers.

4. A special program of care during Ramadan and in nursing homes and geriatric institutions.

5. Appointment of a national task force with full powers to establish a program of testing, research, and data collection. The Minister recommends this task be given to the IDF.

Bennett told ministers that as of today, there are 140 patients on ventilators in Israeli hospitals, and 1,600 ventilator units are currently not in use. He noted that this allows for a 1,000% increase without crashing the health care system.

The Minister presented a traffic light model for the reopening of the economy:

馃煝 Green - If for 5 days the increase in number of confirmed infections is less than 4% per day, the reopening can be continued.

馃煚 Orange - If the growth rate is between 4 and 7%, the reopening is paused.

馃敶 Red - If the increase in rate of new infections is above 7%, restrictions must be tightened.