By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Sarah Chemla Sept22, 2020
For full article see https://tinyurl.com/y52p265r
Hospitals began turning away coronavirus patients and shutting down internal medicine wards on Monday as the number of those seriously ill spiked.
The coronavirus cabinet is expected to meet on Tuesday to outline a list of new restrictions that could be implemented immediately after Yom Kippur next week.
Both Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital and Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem on Monday said they could accommodate no more coronavirus cases. Health Ministry director-general Chezy Levy called on hospitals to cease offering elective surgery and other services and instead focus on COVID-19.
“This is urgent,” he said in a letter to hospital CEOs. “I expect everyone to act with personal responsibility and determination.”
Meanwhile, the IDF on Monday announced it would open a 200-bed field hospital to help accommodate patient overflow.
The cabinet met Monday to discuss the next steps in the fight against coronavirus. “Since we made the decision about the lockdown, there has been a consistent rise in the number of serious patients,” Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting. “Therefore, tomorrow at the coronavirus cabinet meeting, we will consider further steps.
“Anyone who violated the directives or, worse than that, any MK who pushed for looser restrictions, should not ask afterward why the infection rate is rising and should not now come with complaints. The reason for the infection rate is gatherings and people not wearing masks.”
In Nahariya, The Galilee Medical Center director-general Dr. Masad Barhoum said his hospital would open a fourth coronavirus ward by Tuesday at the expense of an internal medicine ward.
“This is the second internal medicine ward that is becoming a coronavirus ward,” Barhoum said. “We will have to use anesthetics as part of a [coronavirus] team to treat serious patients, so we will have no choice but to postpone elective surgery.”
Israel shut down beginning on Rosh Hashanah for what is expected to be a three-week closure. However, as many health experts have pointed out, the closure has a lot of flexibility of movement for citizens and is not expected to reduce morbidity very fast.
Despite the spike in patients, much of the public continues to break Health Ministry regulations. On Monday, N12 visited a neighborhood in Bnei Brak where a Talmud Torah religious school was open despite instructions that the education system remain closed.
In addition, media reports and social media showed that several businesses across the country opened despite fines of up to NIS 5,000 and against Health Ministry rules.
Gamzu, the corona c\ar, lashed out at protesters who continue to gather in large groups, many without masks.
“We need to understand that we are in an emergency; this is a war,” he said. “We [may end] this week with 800 critically ill patients, and that requires a change in the behavior of all of us.”
“We currently need to focus on one goal: reducing morbidity,” he added. “There will be time for demonstrations afterward.”