MK Tessler: 'Citizens are missing the message to go into quarantine'

MK Yaakov Tessler calls for increased accessibility to quarantine notifications and efficiency in transfer to coronavirus hotels.

Tags: Coronavirus
Michal Levi ,

Yaakov Tessler
Yaakov Tessler
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

The Knesset's Committee for Public Petitions discussed how to provide citizens who do not have text message capabilities on their phones with important notifications.

The discussion was held after many people contacted the Committee saying that they have had difficulties in receiving the voicemail message informing them of their obligation to quarantine after exposure to a confirmed coronavirus patient.

Committee Chairman MK Yaakov Tessler (UTJ) said, "There are thousands of residents from the haredi community, who are elderly, and from other sectors, who cannot receive a written message to enter quarantine and require a voice message."

"Not always do they have their phones near them, and so they miss the instruction to enter quarantine, and sometimes even if they listen to the voice message, they do not manage to absorb all the details mentioned in the voice message."

Tessler added that when these citizens try to reach out to receive the instructions again, from the Health Ministry's hotline, they often have to wait many hours on the line.

According to Tessler, the government should publicize the phone number via which citizens can receive all of the information regarding their exposure, and expand the service so that callers can receive additional details such as where they were exposed to a confirmed coronavirus patient, when, and at what hours.

Ministry representatives attending the meeting said that they would work to improve the automatic voice system so that all the exposure details can be listened to.

"Quarantine takes a person's freedom away from him, and so before placing a person in quarantine, we must provide him with all of the information, and also allow him the option to dispute it," Tessler said.

The Committee also discussed the delays in the process by which the health funds provide the IDF's Home Front Command with information on those who are eligible for transfer to coronavirus hotels.

Tessler called on the health funds to reduce the amount of time between coronavirus tests and when they update the Home Front Command to no more than 24 hours, in order to prevent infections within the community.

He also requested to receive Defense Ministry statistics regarding the amount of time between when the health funds conduct the tests and when they update the Home Front Command.