Prof. Ronni Gamzu receiving a COVID vaccine shot
Prof. Ronni Gamzu receiving a COVID vaccine shotEitan Elhadez / TPS

Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the director of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital and a former coronavirus project manager, has reacted with concern at what appears to be the government’s headlong rush into the country’s fourth national lockdown.

“After living with the coronavirus for a year and a half, we should be able to manage this and deal with the challenges using social and medical means” rather than lockdown, Gamzu said, stressing that Israelis will have to learn to live with the virus.

“Here at Ichilov we are bolstering our capabilities in the coronavirus wards, boosting the numbers of doctors and nurses, and finding ways to cope with the situation, out of a firm belief that this is our duty and that this is the right way to do things, rather than raising the white flag of lockdown,” Gamzu said. “We are providing our staff with everything they need in order to treat coronavirus patients and to continue to provide medical care to all our other patients too.”

Gamzu also called on the government and its leadership to provide funding for increased staffing and for additional measures needed to meet the current challenges, “so that we can cope with the situation without using last-resort measures such as lockdown.”

The professor added that, “Here in Ichilov we have finished administering third vaccine doses to the residents of old-age homes in the Tel Aviv area, and we are continuing to administer third vaccine doses to anyone who fits the criteria. We also need to expand our capability of administering vaccines, and the time has come for us to alter the nature of the public discourse and stop threatening closures,” Gamzu added. “We have the ability to deal with the challenges we are facing and that is what we should be broadcasting to the public.”