Yoav Kisch: 'We may close off red cities'

Dep. Health Min. Yoav Kisch warns: 'Red cities are not a game, opening schools will cause infection.'

103FM ,

Yoav Kisch
Yoav Kisch
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch (Likud) on Monday spoke with 103 FM Radio about how the coronavirus outbreak is being handled and about coronavirus czar Professor Ronni Gamzu's "traffic light" plan.

"In essence, a decision was not made" regarding whether the school year should begin on time in "red" cities where infection rates are high, Kisch said. "It was explicitly stated that the decision regarding schools in 'red' cities will be made in a smaller forum which includes the Education Minister, Health Minister, and Finance Minister. It seems that it will begin in this fashion, but the decision will be made later."

Kisch also warned that "red cities are not a game, they're places where infections are high. If in the general population it's about 2%, here it can reach 30% of tests and close to 10% in the general population. Therefore, opening schools in this situation is an event which in our estimation will cause infections."

When asked why the school year is opening as usual, Kisch said, "It was important to us that the 'traffic light' plan be accepted, and it was accepted. If we would have gotten into a discussion on red cities, what happens in them, and how the restrictions are... We discussed the educational system on a national level and it's important that we did that. We will discuss things on a national level, but the traffic light plan is beyond the educational system and it allows 'green' areas to work."

Regarding the high infection rate in the haredi and Arab communities, Kisch said, "These things are dynamic, there were tougher problems in the haredi community and we managed to bring down infection rates. We will put out the list of cities according to the guidelines agreed on yesterday, and everyone will begin to understand where he stands - that's the first step. It will go out today, maximum tomorrow morning."

Kisch also said that "a red city will have a lot of implications, and it could well be that we will prevent entrance into and exit from specific red cities, where infection rates are high. There will be no restrictions on yellow and green cities, but there is a discussion regarding the orange and red cities, regarding whether people will be able to leave the city, and the educational system, and other things."

"Enforcement is super-crucial," he added, noting that the decision to allow event halls to open and host 100 people was made in order to prevent illegal gatherings.

"It's not because we think it was appropriate to do this now, but because we see what's happening in an illegal fashion and we said, 'This is something that we must stop.' We are doing this in an organized fashion, in event halls over which there will be increased supervision and enforcement," he explained.