Prof. Idit Matot from Ichilov Hospital harshly criticized government management of "omicron" and specifically called for changing isolation policy.
In a message posted by Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to social media, she wrote, "Good week, this is Prof. Idit Matot. These days we mark two years since the outbreak of the coronavirus and unfortunately, if there is one thing that still drives the decision makers in this event, it is anxiety and a feeling of fear."
"The omicron belongs to the corona family but it is incomparable with previous strains that caused a prolonged and severe illness with frequent need for respiration and sometimes the use of ECMO. That was then. It is not now - not the omicron. In fact, for a month already we see and understand that omicron is very contagious but has minimal ability to cause harm. Minimal!
"And as proof - we do not have patients with omicron on respirators at Ichilov. Not even one !!! There is also no ECMO problem as there used to be because there is simply no need. What is there? Patients with the flu on respirators. Those patients aren't counted or talked about, aside from the annual article about overflowing hospital wards. The flu is a disease without public relations. But it kills.
"The data that are shown to us on corona patients in hospitals are mild (for the most part) and serious alike - they have corona but for the most part it is not due to corona! Women during birth, young people after a fall from a scooter, a patient with infection and more. They tell you about 2 patients in serious condition here in pre-surgery, but the truth is that one is after a serious car accident and the other is because of a brain hemorrhage. "
"Therefore, the publication of the number of critically ill patients with corona that appears every day in the media is misleading! Practically speaking, those who are seriously ill because of corona are few, and even among a portion of these, the stricter definition of a seriously ill patient, as we spoke of in the past, unjustly creates a false impression of serious illness and effectively creates only fear, and leads to problematic managerial decisions.
"Unfortunately, instead of treating this strain accordingly, [...] people are forced to be imprisoned in their homes and we are de facto in a kind of lockdown and the state is on the verge of collapse. Have we gone crazy? And for what? It reminds me that a few weeks ago, it rained a few drops but they called it a name (Carmel), and we all waited for a flood. Now, it's really just a matter of branding."
"The madness of the isolations should be re-evaluated. Certainly for the asymptomatic. Certainly for the children who need a life of routine - we rob them of childhood, development, learning, and give them fears, mental disorders and regression. Please save our future generation but also save the parents who are isolated with the children.
"Hundreds of thousands of people isolated for what? A huge population roams asymptomatically with omicron and we do not even know. Many are infected and unaware of it. Instructions must be adjusted in this period and for the current corona (omicron): whoever doesn't feel well should stay at home. Free all the rest and just do one thing - put on masks."
The Ministry of Health later attacked Prof. Idit Matot, writing on Saturday night, "Unfortunately, Prof. Matot's conduct, and the language in which she chose to express her criticism, raises concerns that lust for publicity sometimes outweighs responsibility. In addition, it must be noted that use of an official page of a governmental hospital for the purpose of expressing a personal opinion is void and prohibited."
"The health care system in Israel is working tirelessly against the wave of serious illness, with discretion and responsibility, in an effort to maintain public health and economic activity. Whoever does not want to help - let him not interfere."