Blue and White ministers to support Gamzu’s ‘traffic-light’ plan

All Blue and White ministers that sit on the coronavirus cabinet will support Prof. Ronni Gamzu’s “traffic-light” plan, according to a statement released by Defense Minister Benny Gantz.The alternate prime minister met with the coronavirus commissioner on Sunday and said that, “We will support the approval of the traffic light plan that was built in coordination with the Defense Ministry… Professionals will determine the way [to beat coronavirus]. The only consideration is public health.”Gantz added that the entire security apparatus will work to give Gamzu the tools he needs to fulfill his role.On Sunday evening, the coronavirus cabinet is set to meet about the plan. The final vote on the traffic light plan has been delayed several times over the last three weeks. A copy of the plan was released in the late morning by N12.

The plan centers on identifying communities as red, yellow/orange or green based on several factors, including the number of new infections in a recent period, the overall rate of infection and how many people test positive out of those who are screened for the virus.

“The model calls for “adopting a policy of differential treatment for the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to the classification of local authorities in the country, according to their morbidity,” the document explains. 

Specifically, each local authority would be ranked on a scale between 0 and 10, with 10 being the highest level of morbidity. The score would be calculated based on both the number and the rate of increase of new weekly patients per 10,000 in each authority. 

Those cities with a score of 7.5 or higher will be deemed red. On Sunday, there were 14 red cities listed on the Health Ministry website. 

Cities with a score of 6-7.5 would be orange, 5-6 yellow and around 4.5 would be green.

The document does not explicitly state that schools in red zones would be closed, although it has been suggested that these schools might open after the High Holy Days. 

According to the document, a committee of ministers could change the classification of a neighborhood within a city, if it is reflective of the morbidity data.

The vote on the traffic light program is considered a “watershed” moment for Gamzu. He has suggested that if he does not have the “tools” to manage the pandemic, he may step down. 

However, the program is expected to pass. Gamzu said after a coronavirus cabinet meeting held about 10 days ago that “cabinet ministers expressed overwhelming support for the outlines I presented to them and for avoiding lockdown.”

There were 898 people diagnosed with coronavirus on Saturday, the Health Ministry reported on Sunday. A total of 441 people are in serious condition, including 121 who are intubated. The death toll stands at 909.The cabinet is also supposed to discuss how synagogues will operate over the holidays and about further opening the skies for Israelis, such as allowing them to travel to and return from Cyprus, Georgia, Hungary and Austria without entering isolation.

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