Health Ministry threatens to close schools over lack of cooperation

Director of public health services in the Health Ministry writes to Education Ministry demanding fast testing over Indian variant.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Dr. Sharon Alroy Preis
Dr. Sharon Alroy Preis
Arutz Sheva

Director of public health services in the Health Ministry, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, sent a letter to the Education Ministry Thursday demanding rapid testing of students in schools where there is suspicion of coronavirus infection amid concerns over the spread of the Indian variant in Israel.

Dr. Alroy-Preis added that there was no co-operation on the part of the schools and warned: "If we are not able to carry out testing as required, we will have to consider closing the school or part of it."

"Already yesterday we contacted the professionals in your office in order to quickly coordinate testing for schools this morning - but unfortunately we encountered difficulties in cooperation," she wrote. "The fact that there have been recent outbreaks, and the knowledge from the epidemic so far that children are asymptomatic in 70% of cases, necessitates rapid testing in the above schools to ensure that there is no latent morbidity."

Senior officials in the Ministry of Education responded to the letter from Dr. Alroy-Preis: "This is nonsense. We tested who they asked for. They did not contact us. They only approached us through the media. Hezi and Sharon have our phone numbers and yet they contacted us through the media. But this is their way of getting back into the headlines. There are currently less than 500 verified cases in the education system."

41 cases of the Indian variant have been discovered in Israel, including in five schools.