Prof. Ben-Israel explained his position, pointing out that when measuring the rate of additional patients to existing patients, the trend can be clearly identified and adjusted in all countries. If, at the beginning of the epidemic, the rate of hospitalization was increasing at a rapid rate every day, this reality has since changed radically.
“The incidence of patients was greater by the day. This was during the first four weeks after the epidemic was discovered in Israel. As of the sixth week, the increase in the number of patients has been moderate, peaking in the sixth week at 700 patients per day. Since then it has been declining, and today there are only 300 new patients. In two weeks it will reach zero and there will be no more new patients,” Prof. Ben-Israel said.
“This is how it is all over the world. Both in countries where they have taken closure steps like Italy and in countries that have not had closures like Taiwan or Singapore. In such and such countries there is an increase until the fourth to sixth week, and immediately thereafter moderation until during the eighth week it disappears.”
In his remarks, Ben-Israel is careful to give credit to the various graphical studies to his colleagues, Prof. Ziegler of the Technion and Ronnie Yefarah, who helped him formulate his encouraging position.
“This is happening both in countries that have closed down like us and in those that have not closed until today like Sweden, every country no matter its response. The decline and rise occur according to the same timeline,” he said, adding that his observations are based entirely on past data without attempting to guess what will happen in the future.
“It’s clear to us how the epidemic is starting and what is causing the increase. What is causing the moderation is unclear. Therefore, I propose that we end the closures immediately after the current week. We will start increasing the workforce from 15 percent to fifty percent and in two weeks we will reach 100 percent.”
Unclear what causes it to end? May I humbly suggest that the coronavirus is… like every single other seasonal illness on the planet?
However, Prof. Ben-Israel added that he “recommends that we take all the hygienic steps like wearing masks and keeping our distance from person to person and banning crowds because it does not cost the economy. What bothers me is the damage to the economy. We are paying NIS 100 billion a month because of this closure. This also has implications for health. We will pay with more human lives with our health system in the current state.”