Bnei Brak haredim
Bnei Brak haredim Flash 90

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein in recent days instructed senior Health Ministry officials to examine the phenomenon of how there is no significant increase in COVID-19 morbidity among haredi concentrations, even though many educational institutions have been operating for a month-and-a-half contrary to government orders.

According to a report by Public Broadcasting Corporation health correspondent Katie Dor, Edelstein asked senior officials in his Ministry to examine whether conclusions may be drawn that might be used by the Health Ministry in the fight against the virus in the general sector as well.

"There were prophecies of doom that within three weeks all the haredi communities would turn red," Dor said. "Not only did this not happen, but the opposite happened; the infection index in the haredi sector is lower than in the general sector."

According to her, in the general sector there is an infection factor of 1.06 percent, and among haredim the infection factor is 0.96 percent. "The index of serious patients is significantly lower," Dor adds, "far fewer serious patients in the haredi sector compared to the secular sector and the Arab sector where it is on the rise."

As for skepticism by some and the question of whether it is possible that the haredi sector is avoiding being tested for COVID-19, and therefore the aforementioned situation does not reflect reality on the ground, Dor explains that senior Health Ministry officials know this not to be the case.

"It's not something that can be hidden over time," she says of the number of critically ill patients, a measure that is considered 'concrete' and has much weight in determining how widespread the disease is in different cities and sectors.

"The explanation provided by senior Health Ministry officials," says the health correspondent: "The percentage of morbidity was probably very high, meaning that the percentage of recovering people is estimated to be between 30 and 35 percent in the haredi sector. Therefore, there is a natural cutting of the contagion chains in the haredi sector. There is also that they follow the guidelines and go with masks and in small groups, but the Health Minister instructed the senior officials of his Ministry to simply draw lessons and conclusions from this for the general sector as well."