Israel’s public health director resigns, criticises country’s Covid-19 response
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Israel’s public health director resigns, criticises country’s Covid-19 response

Siegal Sadetzki stepped down in a letter to the Ministry of Health, taking aim at the 'widespread and rapid opening' of society after the first wave

Palestinian laborers head to work in Israel through a checkpoint amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma 
Palestinian laborers head to work in Israel through a checkpoint amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma 

Israel’s public health director resigned on Tuesday in protest against ministers’ decision to ease lockdown so quickly, as another warned that the country has “lost control” of the coronavirus.

Siegal Sadetzki, an epidemiologist, said she had resigned because her warnings were ignored, with infection rates soaring to more than 1,000 daily new cases in recent weeks.

On Monday, politicians re-imposed lockdown measures, closing bars, gyms and event halls, after a wide reopening in May, which included businesses and schools.

Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli that “if we do not block the spread of the virus, we will have neither health nor an economy,” but Sadetzki said leaders were warned, adding: “Israel’s compass for handling the pandemic has lost its bearings.”

Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch told a parliamentary committee that Israel’s second wave was now worse than the first, and that there could easily be up to 400 seriously ill patients by the end of July.

Netanyahu’s own advisor, Professor Eli Wachsman, told Channel 12: “We’ve lost control of this virus. We have no information on 90 percent of those who have been infected.”

With 338 Israeli having died and more than 31,000 infected, public health expert Prof Doron Gazit from Hebrew University said the “steady rise in the number of sick has turned into a veritable deluge”.

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