Child with a face mask
Child with a face mask iStock

Professor Gabi Barbash, former Director-General of the Ministry of Health and currently the CEO of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, explained on Thursday why he is against reopening schools and kindergartens next year.

"The system is not at all ready to bring the children back to schools," Barbash said in an interview on Channel 12 News, adding that "before returning to school, the health system and the education system must establish clear procedures and impose on the school administrators - those who know the classrooms best - the responsibility to prepare the building and adapt it to the coronavirus routine.”

"Hygiene and cleanliness are a basic condition for returning to school - and the local authorities are the ones who need to oversee this, but parents also have a responsibility to be involved," he continued.

“There are four health maintenance organizations in Israel today and there should be one body that will be able to communicate with everyone. If a child is infected with the virus and the entire class needs to be checked quickly, it is not clear who would be coordinating that.”

Barbash wondered why students over the age of six are not required to wear a mask. "As far as we know in the medical world, there is no viral disease today which children do not contract but do infect others, and there is no reason to think that the coronavirus will be different. I would not send my children back to school at this time."

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