Health Ministry Director General seeks clarifications from deputy

Moshe Bar Siman Tov demands clarifications on report that his deputy permitted billionaire Teddy Sagi to enter Israel without isolation.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Professor Itamar Grotto
Professor Itamar Grotto
Health Ministry spokesperson

Moshe Bar Siman Tov, Director General of the Ministry of Health, on Wednesday night sent a letter to his deputy, Prof. Itamar Grotto, following the Channel 12 News report which revealed that Grotto permitted billionaire Teddy Sagi to enter Israel without isolation as required for those coming from abroad.

At the request of Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Bar Siman Tov wrote to Grotto that he demanded to know whether the exemption was indeed granted to the businessman and whether he had previously exempted people returning from abroad from isolation or from other obligations.

Bar Siman Tov asked Grotto to respond to the letter in writing, noting at the conclusion of his letter, “If there is truth to the publication, then it is necessary to draw conclusions immediately."

The letter followed the report in Channel 12 News that billionaire and businessman Teddy Sagi, who returned from Cyprus last week, turned to Grotto and asked to be exempt from isolation. Grotto approved the request and Sagi proceeded to attend a party in Tel Aviv contrary to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister Edelstein said in response to the report, "Especially at a time when a great deal of effort is being made to explain to the public the importance of complying with the Ministry of Health's guidelines and when we call for increased enforcement, there may not be exemptions from isolation that endanger public health. This is a serious violation of public trust and a grave error of judgment. In such cases, I will not be forgiving.”

The Health Ministry announced Wednesday evening that 175 new coronavirus patients were diagnosed over the last 24 hours. The number of active coronavirus cases in Israel stands at 2,869, 31 patients are in serious condition, 22 of whom are on ventilators.

On Tuesday, there were 148 new cases over a 24-hour period.