Lockdown enforcement in Jerusalem
Lockdown enforcement in JerusalemOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israelis will need to get used to living with the novel coronavirus as an endemic disease which will remain among the population permanently, the country’s former coronavirus czar said Wednesday.

Speaking with Israel Hayom, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the director-general of Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv and the former director of Israel’s coronavirus control efforts, said that Israelis “need to get used to living alongside the coronavirus, and stop highlighting the number of new cases every day.”

Gamzu decried the use of nationwide lockdowns as a “solution of weakness”, saying that the concept should be dropped entirely.

“I told [the prime minister and health minister] that lockdowns are a solution of weakness, we need to take it out of our lexicon entirely. Look at what is happening in many other places around the world, including the US. They’ve learned to live with the virus. We don’t need to push the new numbers of infected every morning to the public. The government needs to be responsible and to tell citizens: ‘There are rules, this is the direction, but we want you to continue your lives, within the framework and restrictions that have been set.”

Gamzu emphasized that the virus is already endemic and will never be eradicated.

“The coronavirus won’t be leaving our lives. So why are we counting the new infections every day? Every day we’re going to publish the infection rates?”