As of Wednesday morning, the official coronavirus death toll in Israel stands at 1,040, according to data released by the Health Ministry.
But according to information revealed by the Knesset’s Coronavirus Committee recently, the number of coronavirus-related fatalities may include a number of deaths which were not necessarily caused primarily by the virus.
The Coronavirus Committee has found that in every death reported in Israel in which the deceased was found to have been carrying the coronavirus, COVID-19 was listed as the primary cause of death.
This was true regardless of whether the deceased had died from other serious illnesses – ranging from heart disease to cancer to Alzheimer’s – and was merely a carrier of the virus, the committee found.
Experts say at least 30% of the fatalities listed as being caused by the coronavirus were actually primarily caused by something other than COVID-19.
Following the revelation, MK Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid), who sits on the Knesset’s Coronavirus Committee, is joining 120 physicians and scientists in calling on the Prime Minister, Health Minister, and Israel’s Coronavirus Czar to reassess the country’s coronavirus death count.
“For the past five months, we in the Coronavirus Committee have felt that something is off, as if someone isn’t showing us all of the statistics and the whole truth,” said Razvozov.
“Today we understand that the whole method for counting victims of the coronavirus is fundamentally flawed. This is scandalous behavior by the Health Ministry, which directly affects the government’s decisions, leading us over and over again to lockdowns and to the destruction of the Israeli economy. Even Israel’s position in the international community as a red or green state has been influenced by these statistics, which directly affect flights, tourism, and trade with Israel.”
“I call on the Prime Minister and the Health Ministry to seriously address this request and to conduct a recount and reappraisal of the general situation including the number of coronavirus deaths. The current policies are very destructive and are leading to unnecessary panic and are hurting the country in a wide number of areas.”
Dr. Amir Shahar, chief of the emergency care department at Laniado Hospital in Netanya, said: “Given that the Health Ministry instructed that the [deceased’s] coronavirus diagnosis needs to be written in every death certificate, we need to ask whether this diagnosis actually relates to the cause of death being the coronavirus or a coronavirus-related complication.”
“This information is so basic for understanding the fatality rate of the disease and to assess how dangerous it is. Take, for instance, the Health Ministry’s official numbers as of yesterday: 1,031 fatalities and 135,288 diagnosed cases, that equals 0.74% [fatality rate]. Almost the same as the flu. And if we include the number of people infected who were never diagnosed, we get a fatality rate that is lower than the flu. This is hysteria. Policies not based on facts. What lower fatality rate, if any, is another lockdown supposed to bring?”
Prof. Asher Elhayani, director-general of the Meuhedet health insurance provider and former manager of Meir Hospital, said: “Since the decisions which directly impact the lives and health of millions of Israelis have been made on the basis of numbers and data, which are quoted daily and hourly in the media, there is in the case of the coronavirus pandemic an extra importance to ensure that the numbers are completely accurate. A thorough assessment and analysis of the causes of death of the deceased patients who died either while carrying or because of the coronavirus is critical. Therefore we must ensure that the Health Ministry does this immediately.”