Top health official: There are no plans for a holiday lockdown

Head of Public Health Services denies that health officials are pushing for a lockdown during the high holidays: We have to live with the virus.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

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

Prof. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of Public Health Services, denied on Friday that health officials are pushing the government to impose a lockdown during the high holidays following a spike in cases of COVID-19.

Speaking to Channel 12 News, Alroy-Preis said, "I do not understand how we got to a discourse on lockdowns. We are not in a place of a lockdown on the holidays. There is a lot of misinformation that the Ministry of Health is pushing for a lockdown on the holidays. The right thing to do is to run a green passport in a broad way - but in order to do that you need a wide range of tests and allow children to be tested."

"We are trying to put this slogan of living with the coronavirus into practice - and that means the green passport. The coronavirus is here and will be here and we need to live with it - and the solution is testing to prevent infection," she stressed. "The effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing infection is around 60% but its effectiveness in preventing serious illness is 93% which is very significant and the vaccines are very helpful. When we live in a country where a third of the population is not vaccinated (especially children), there is a fertile ground for infection, so we need to reach a situation in which we are living with the virus."

Dr. Alroy-Preis clarified that the Ministry of Health pushed for an outline of a green passport with speed tests a long time ago - but could not implement it.

"We wanted to activate a green passport with speed tests long ago and it did not succeed because it was privately funded and the parents didn’t want to pay for it - and therefore we have to change our tone in the sense that if one lives in a coronavirus routine - and the basis for this is testing - the state should fund it," she said.

Dr. Alroy-Preis was also asked about reports this week saying that Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton had demanded that she be fired.

"She (Shasha-Biton) did not speak to me. I am a doctor and epidemiologist and my job is to take care of public health and that is what I do. There are no agendas. We need to look at the data and make the right decisions on how to deal with the pandemic," said Alroy-Preis.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)



top