Hebrew U Family Medicine head:
'Health Ministry data were intended to cause fear, not presented in true perspective'

Hebrew University Dept of Family Medicine Chairman Prof Amnon Lahad: 'I believe most of them died not from COVID-19, but with COVID-19.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Hebrew University Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center campus
Hebrew University Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center campus
Flash 90

Responding to Health Ministry publication today of COVID-19 mortality statistics in children, Hebrew University Department of Family Medicine Chairman Professor Amnon Lahad told Arutz Sheva: "I think the Health Ministry's data aren't mistaken, however they are presented in an incorrect perspective."

The Health Ministry published data on COVID-19 morbidity in Israeli adolescents by age, period of infection, and severity of the disease, saying that since the beginning of the outbreak, 1,787 0-to-18-year-olds who had contracted the virus were hospitalized, 100 of them in serious or critical condition, with nine having died of the disease.

Professor Lahad told Arutz Sheva: "If you look at a regular year, morbidity in children was greater for other reasons; morbidity was very low. The statement that nine children died - I believe most of them died not from COVID-19, but with COVID-19.

"According to the Health Ministry dashboard data themselves, we're talking about absolutely isolated cases of children where at least one of them is a non-Israeli girl, two of the children had extremely difficult background illnesses, who weren't treated as regular children."

He continued: "But it's important to point out that the main thing is when you take the fact that there are about 2 million children in Israel, these numbers are miniscule. If you take the United States, in the U.S. there were about 150 COVID-associated deaths among children; we don't have more. It's still left as isolated cases, compared to the tremendous damage caused by leaving the children out of the school frameworks.

"It's also important for me to stress, of course, that according to the data that we're seeing, it's not at all clear that schools increase contagion, and if they do, it's in an extremely minimal fashion."

Professor Lahad concluded: "One last personal note: I'm not part of the Common Sense Model; I agree with them in some things and disagree with them in others. I'm answering specifically regarding the subject of children. I think the Health Ministry data were intended to cause fear, and they are not data that are presented in their true perspective, which is super-low morbidity among children, also in proportion to the other children's diseases, or in comparison with influenza during years when there is significant flu."



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