MK Yulia Malinovsky
MK Yulia MalinovskyNoam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

An Israeli lawmaker challenged the Health Ministry’s figures on the coronavirus pandemic, telling a senior ministry official Sunday afternoon that a number of people who died of other, preexisting conditions were wrongly included in the death toll.

MK Yulia Malinovsky (Yisrael Beytenu) interrupted Deputy Director-General of the Health Ministry Prof. Itamar Grotto as he spoke to the Knesset’s Coronavirus Committee Sunday afternoon, after Grotto cited ministry data showing that over 400 people have died as a result of the coronavirus thus far.

Malinovsky challenged the number, saying that some of the fatalities included in the coronavirus death toll were patients who died of other causes while they were also infected with the virus.

“They didn’t die from the coronavirus, that’s a mistake,” said Malinovsky. “You’re deceiving the public.”

MK Osnat Mark (Likud) objected to Malinovsky’s comments, saying that the fact that there were comorbidities in some patients does not mean their deaths were not hastened by being infected with the coronavirus.

“If it speeds up their deaths, isn’t that enough? If a cancer patient is in a high risk group and dies because of the coronavirus, he could have lived for a few more years with treatment.”

Malinovsky responded to Mark, saying “If a 90-year-old cancer patient comes to the hospital, he’s been put on a ventilator and he’s in an induced coma, the doctors are fighting for his life, and at the end he gets a virus – and there are many in hospitals – and then he dies. What did he die from?”

According to the data released by the Health Ministry Sunday morning, the number of coronavirus-related fatalities in Israel is 406, with 238 patients in serious condition.

ח"כ מלינובסקי: "הם לא נפטרו מקורונה, זאת טעות"ערוץ כנסת