Moshe Bar Siman Tov, Director General of the Ministry of Health, warned on Saturday night of an increase in numbers of coronavirus cases in the coming days, with many Israelis preparing for Passover.
"We are before Passover - and only now are we absorbing a lot of the cases that were infected on Purim. Wrong behavior by the public on the days before the holiday and also on the holiday itself will be devastating and fatal," he said in an interview on Channel 13 News.
"If people take to the streets to get ready for the holiday, or meet up with friends and family, we will end up in a very bad place in terms of infection. It is the interaction between people that is causing the epidemic and that is why we are so worried about the coming days," continued Bar Siman Tov.
The Director General of the Ministry of Health was asked about the state of Israel's preparations in terms of the appropriate medical equipment, and replied, "We are working very hard to acquire everything that is needed. This is a concerted effort shared by all the units - the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Defense, [and] the Foreign Ministry.”
"Binyamin Netanyahu also maintains his personal relationships with other leaders and opens very important doors for us. We are in a global war over every mask, every gown, every gown and every swab. This is the situation we are in."
"We work very hard so that there is no shortage expected - but we see that there is a shortage elsewhere as well. We do not sleep at night in order to ensure there will be no shortage for the medical staff and everyone who is in the hospitals. This is the ultimate goal for us and we do everything in our power to make it happen."
Bar Siman Tov addressed the failure of the coronavirus tests which caused the delay in providing laboratory results.
"We increased the pace of the tests very quickly, and the number of laboratories as well - from a few laboratories we reached 25 that are working concurrently," he stated. "We did not want to delay the opening of the laboratories and the increase in the rate of testing until we connected between the laboratories, so we worked in a distributed way and hence the potential for mistakes was created."
He added that the Ministry of Health is working with "all the strongest forces in the country - all to tidy up the data and ensure that nothing like this happens again. We'll look back, too. These are things that, although unfortunate, naturally happen when one works at such a fast pace."