• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Education and Health Ministries in Israel Disagree Over Coronavirus Strategies

Jul 26, 2021

The State of Israel has registered more than 2,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus for the second time in a week. Meanwhile, education and health officials are arguing over the strategies that the relevant authorities should implement to contain the fourth wave of the pandemic, as they strive to preserve the daily life of the people of the country. 

On Sunday, an outline was presented by the Education Ministry regarding the upcoming school year. It laid emphasis on widespread and rapid testing, as an instrumental tool in containing mass outbreaks. It further went on to reject the idea of reintroducing quarantine and remote learning capsules. 

Amongst other things, the plan also included the implementation of a special isolation system, designed specifically for schools. This would allow teachers and students, who have been exposed to a verified case, to resume going to their classrooms after a time span of 48 hours, as well as a negative test of the coronavirus. However, health officials did not appreciate this proposal and rejected it right away. 

Ever since then, verbal attacks have ensued and consequently escalated, between members of the coronavirus cabinet and officials of the ministries. 

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett, along with Nitzan Horowitz, the health minister, and Prof. Nachman Ash, the Director-General of the Health Ministry, added that they are in full support of the head of the Public Health Services, Prof. Sharon Alroy-Preis. Their support came shortly after attacks were made by anonymous participants of the coronavirus cabinet, late on Tuesday night. 

Bennett stated the Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis is a professional and dedicated public servant, who works tirelessly to ensure the top-notch health of the citizens of the State of Israel. He went on to commend her on her responsible and practical efforts to lead the response against the pandemic. The Prime Minister condemned the attack made against her, saying that it was unacceptable and unworthy.

Many held Yifat Shasha-Biton, the education minister, responsible for the incident. He has reportedly expressed criticism against the head of the Public Health Services.  

As per sources, various other ministers have placed blame on Shasha-Biton for being unreasonable and refusing to enter into constructive dialogue. They believe that this is mainly because Dr. Alroy-Preis was against the idea of carrying out a vaccination campaign for students during regular school hours. 

The minister also released her own statement, saying that she will not be deterred by the unprecedented campaign, slander, or statements that have been surfacing against her. She stated that the public should focus more on the fact that people presenting a different approach to the struggle against the coronavirus are right away accused of denying the plague. According to her, there are various ministers and experts, who agree with her view and believe that the people of the country need to find a way to live alongside the virus. 

She further stressed on increasing vaccination efforts in the next few weeks as the upcoming school year is fast approaching. 

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