In recent news, the President of the country, Reuven Rivlin has written a letter to Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister. The reason behind him getting in touch with the Health Ministry is the fact that the President is quite disturbed by reports of prisoners in the country being low on the list of priorities to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Therefore, he saw it appropriate to write to the ministry and find out exactly what their plans are on inoculating the incarcerated against the deadly disease.
Rivlin reminded the Health Minister that on the 23rd of December, the relevant Health Ministry committee had announced that priority for vaccination will be given to those citizens who are most susceptible to contracting the virus. This included the group of people aged 60 and above. The President pointed out that there are people in this particular age group, who are currently in prison because they were convicted of a crime.
Next, he went on to add that as per the decision of the relevant committee of the Health Ministry, second priority was to be given to those groups of people who have a greater probability of being exposed to the disease. In reference to this, Rivlin highlighted that prisoners and prison guards alike are in close physical contact with each other and therefore, at a greater risk of being infected.
In his letter to Edelstein, Rivlin stated that he has been quite concerned over these reports of a decision being taken to not inoculate the prisoners against the virus. However, he pledged his support to the decision that was taken by Edelstein, according to which, prisoners in the country will be vaccinated. This was decided by the professional committee of the Ministry, who believed that it is preferable to vaccinate the entire population rather than permit the virus to spread once again.
The President lay emphasis on the fact that if the Health Ministry was to withhold any kind of life-saving medication, it would be against Jewish values. Moreover, it would also go against the values of a democratic and Jewish state.
More than 30 prisoners, up till now, of the Ramon prison have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. This was announced by the Prisons Service in Israel, late on Thursday. The IPS further informed that all of these patients are asymptomatic and currently in good condition. However, they will be moved to a quarantine as per the instructions and regulations of the Health Ministry.
Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister, sent an urgent appeal to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, last Monday. He urged the leader to instruct Amir Ohana, the Public Security Minister, to allow senior prisoners to receive vaccinations in all prison facilities.
Until now, Ohana has firmly declined to allow this to happen, despite the fact that Amit Marari, the Deputy Attorney-General instructed him that it is not in his authority to be preventing the shots. The Prime Minister has yet to say anything on the matter.