'Previous lockdowns were justified but now they can be avoided'

Former Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health: A lockdown should only be imposed if we get to an extreme scenario.

Uzi Baruch ,

Professor Itamar Grotto
Professor Itamar Grotto
Arutz Sheva

Prof. Itamar Grotto, former Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health, told Arutz Sheva on Monday that he is satisfied with the current government's conduct in the wake of the rise in cases of COVID-19.

“We are dealing with a variant that is different in some parts from the original virus. We see that the vaccine is effective against it, even if it is reduced effectiveness. As for the government, I do not think they should be graded on their handling of the mater. The previous situation was completely different because there was uncertainty and we had no vaccine. There were masks and there were lockdowns that there was no choice but to impose. Today we are in a different situation and there are several alternatives that the government can decide between. If I look at an overall view of the government policy, it has generally made the right choices,” said Grotto.

The main problem that has been created in the health system in the wake of the virus is related to manpower, he opined.

"Overall the health care system is in good condition and the main thing that bothers it is the erosion of the staffs. Even though the situation is better than in the past, the medical staffs are fighting without replacement all the time. I think it is also possible to bring about a state of containment and we are seeing initial good signs, but it is too early to celebrate. It can be said that thanks to the vaccines and the third vaccine that is starting to show effectiveness, the situation is better.”

Grotto said he is not in favor of imposing a lockdown at this stage. "The previous lockdowns were justified for that time, but at the moment this tool needs to be reserved for an extreme scenario, if and when we get to it."

He was asked to what extent an argument could be found that would influence those who oppose the vaccine to get vaccinated. "Some people cannot be persuaded at all, there are others who can be persuaded to get vaccinated. In my opinion the main goal of the vaccine is not to completely curb the disease but to reduce the number of patients in serious condition. The main message to the citizen should be one of social solidarity," he stated.



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