MK Yulia Malinovsky (Yisrael Beyteinu) spoke Tuesday with the mayor of Uman, Oleksandr Tsebriy, ahead of the annual mass pilgrimage of hasidim to the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov on Rosh Hashannah.
Malinovsky reported that the mayor told her that a poll of residents of Uman found that 94% oppose the holding of the pilgrimage this year in the shadow of the coronavirus.
"Currently there are only 14 beds in Uman for coronavirus patients and currently 9 of them are occupied and all medical and public health officials in Uman say they will not withstand the pressure."
"So far only one person in Uman has died from the coronavirus, and he was a hasid who fell ill there and they had to take him out with the police in the afternoon and in the evening he died and then the State of Israel also had to arrange a charter flight to return the body and the infected people to Israel," Malinowski said the mayor told her.
Malinowski added that the mayor is ready to accept a limited group of 300-500 Jewish pilgrims, but only if they follow all health guidelines. He said that even when there were Christian holidays such as Easter, they did not go to churches because he closed them solely out of concern for public health.
In conclusion, Malinowski said that the residents of Uman would be happy to receive the usual number of pilgrims for Rosh Hashannah 2021, but right now they are not prepared and are worried for it that the pilgrimage will lead to a health crisis which could cause the city's healthcare system to collapse.