'We've lost control of pandemic - if this continues we'll go back to lockdown'

'We've lost control.' National Security Council advisor warns that Israel is potentially weeks away from reimposing lockdowns.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

MDA coronavirus testing at Jabel Mukaber
MDA coronavirus testing at Jabel Mukaber
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

A senior Israeli official warned Sunday that the country could be headed back to a nationwide lockdown, if current trends in the spread of the coronavirus continue.

Prof. Eli Waxman, who heads up an advisory panel for the Israeli National Security Council, said Sunday that Israel has ‘lost control’ of the pandemic, and is just weeks away from potentially reimposing comprehensive, nationwide lockdowns.

“We’ve lost control, the number of patients is continuing to rise and they’re spread all over the country and we have no way of stopping the spread of the infections in an effective manner,” said Waxman, according to Channel 13.

“If this trend continues, in another three weeks we’ll need to impose a lockdown.”

As of Sunday evening, a total of 183 new cases of the coronavirus have been reported, a decline in the daily infection rate, which topped 500 on Thursday, the highest level in two months.

That decline is due in part to the smaller number of tests conducted, dropping from 19,832 last Tuesday and 18,457 last Thursday, to 10,489 on Saturday and 5,516 thus far on Sunday.

But Sunday’s data also marks a decrease in the percentage of tests which showed infections, with 3.3% of test results thus far Sunday returning positive, compared to 3.8% of test results on Saturday.

Israel’s Health Ministry also recorded a decline in the number of serious cases of the coronavirus, which fell from 45 Saturday to 39 Sunday evening. The number of patients in moderate condition, however, rose from 50 to 60.

Twenty-two patients are now on respirators, down from 24 on Saturday.

Earlier on Sunday, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced plans by the ministry to push for a series of new restrictions on public activity, lambasting critics who have derided the ministry’s coronavirus policies as overly restrictive.

“There is a populist competition of who can disrespect concerns over the coronavirus the most. There are some who say we don’t need to be alarmed by the numbers. There are some who accused me of creating hysteria. It is easy to speak in populist terms in order to score points with some people. It’s easy, but also dangerous. No one has till now offered a better plan for dealing with this.”