Speaking with representatives of haredi media outlets on Wednesday, the director-general of the Health Ministry, Prof. Hezy Levy, said that the haredi sector accounts for just over one third of all coronavirus infections in Israel.
Levy said that the number of coronavirus patients in the haredi sector had increased significantly in recent weeks, as has the number of coronavirus-related fatalities.
Along with accounting for 34% of all coronavirus infections in Israel, Levy continued, roughly one out of every three haredim who is tested for the virus is found to be carrying it, a far higher rate than in the general population.
“That’s twice as high as in the general population, and add to that the fact that there are many tests being conducted in the haredi community.”
The director-general also dismissed the possibility of attaining herd immunity, whereby a large enough portion of the population becomes infected and develops immunity so as to effectively block large outbreaks.
"We're not interested in gaining herd immunity," Levy said, "not in the haredi community, and not in the rest of the population either. We haven't seen that it achieved anything significant in countries where it was attained. It doesn't decrease the fatality rate.
"This is why I am so distressed at the tishes [chassidic gatherings] I see," he added, "with people behaving as if there was no such thing as coronavirus. This is not the right way - it is irresponsible and lacking all concern for others. Who are you endangering? You are endangering your own families, your own grandparents."