Israel leads in the battle against coronavirus

Israel took the danger seriously from the start and has done everything possible to contain it. If only my country, Italy, had been as wise.

By Giulio Meotti, INN  17/03/20 06:32 | updated: 06:24

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has called the coronavirus “the worst epidemic in a hundred years”, first announced last week that the mandatory quarantine (fourteen days) reserved so far for tourists and citizens arriving from certain European and Asian countries had been extended “to all the world”.

Now, as announced last night, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) will track down coronavirus patients and the route they took until they went into isolation or hospitalization. The technology will enable the Shin Bet to identify the people who were within range of the patient and those who were exposed to the virus can be informed, directly to their phones, that they must go into isolation or be tested.

Although there are “only” about 250 coronavirus cases in Israel to date, tens of thousands of Israelis are in self quarantine.

Israel has nine million inhabitants. Italy, which has 60 million, has so far seen just 2.000 self-isolations. The Israeli population was ready to “stay home”.

The world will not end, if we cannot beat it we will live with the coronavirus, said Eyal Waldman, the CEO of the company Mellanox, also in quarantine. This optimism also belongs to the Israeli model. Boaz Lev, who heads the ministry of Health epidemics unit, said the quarantine depends on the fact that the Israelis “act as model citizens”. The contrary happened in Italy.

Eyal Zimlichman, the doctor who supervises isolation at Sheba Medical Center, the ninth best hospital in the world, said Israel “is like a living laboratory” in response to the epidemic.

Patients suspected of being infected can carry the devices of the Israeli start-up TytoCare, allowing doctors to remotely listen to their heart and lungs. A sensor system from the Israeli company EarlySense monitors also their respiration. The tissues developed by Sonovia, in theory for chemotherapy patients, have been transformed into masks that could kill, not only block, the coronavirus. Laboratories in China are testing this model, invented by two chemistry professors from Bar-Ilan University and which mechanically infuses antiviral and antimicrobial nanoparticles into the tissues for masks and other protective products.

And the Migal Galilee Research Institute quickly started working on a coronavirus vaccine. Regardless of whether Migal’s vaccine succeeds or not, the big effort is emblematic of Israel’s attitude towards the crises. It is a mixture of sober assessment, science and self determination. Not only. Since 30 percent of Wuhan health workers contracted the disease from contact with patients, hospitals in Southeast Asia, including China, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, are using another Israeli invention, Temi robot, to minimize contact with patients.

Israel has been preparing for this type of event for many years without defining it. And it “may be the only Western country that has had no unjustified infections”, – so far – said Tomer Hertz of Shraga Segun University’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics.

In Israel there are many medical centers capable of doubling the number of intensive care beds by converting their basements. They began to think about it when Galilee ended up under Hezbollah’s katiuscia rockets. The world’s most advanced underground hospital with 2000 beds is located 17 meters underground at the Rambam in Haifa, which was under attack for a month in 2006. At the time, patients ended up in basements and corridors. It was decided that it should also work in wartime. And this war too is fought with microscopes and medicines.

Israel, a garrison-democracy of soldiers and Nobel laureates, has always made a virtue out of necessity.

March 17, 2020 | 11 Comments » | 566 views

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  1. “Digital surveillance of quarantined virus victims elicits legal move
    The Israeli Digital Rights Movement has petitioned the High Court following the government’s decision to keep under digital surveillance those quarantined due to coronavirus infection. The Digital Rights Movement has called upon the Knesset to supervise the government’s surveillance measures.” From today’s Arutz Sheva.

    I am not very happy with this kind of “leadership.”

  2. Suppose the U.S. government “quarantined” indefinitely anyone identified as a drug abuser, and did not release them until the physicians supervising the quarantine facility certified that they were fully rehabilitated, unlikely to revert to drug abuse, and unlikely to “spread” it to others. Drug abuse in the U.S. (and/or Israel) might decline to near zero. But of course the courts would never permit such measures, and the civil libertarians would scream bloody murder. But in Israel, at any rate, the courts and even most professed civil libertarians seem to support these measures against the novel coronavirus, which kills far, far less people than drug abuse.

  3. @ adamdalgliesh:
    How about special “quarantine” camps for large numbers (possibly millions) of people (which no one is allowed to visit like some nursing homes now)?
    This is what I suspect will happen with the next “pandemic” and the possibility scares me.
    Israel and the Diaspora Jews really need to wake up.

  4. @ adamdalgliesh:
    “But of course the courts would never permit such measures, and the civil libertarians would scream bloody murder.”
    Recall that President Trump rescinded some federal laws a couple of days ago to enable the hospitals and medical personnel to better deal with the “pandemic”.
    Has anyone screamed bloody murder? Has anyone even asked what these laws were? If yes, please let me know.

  5. @ Reader: No, I haven’t heard anyone scream bloody murder, or even what the laws were that have been “rescinded.” The President has no legal authority to rescind laws. Only Congress has that authority under our Constitution. But no one seems to care when their is a massive government-instituted health scare. Frightening.

  6. @ adamdalgliesh:
    It sure is. Health scare is such a right button to push – even the biggest skeptics are not going to try and prove it wrong by possibly risking their life, so everyone just goes along with it until told to stop (when? Who knows?)

  7. “Health Minister: ‘I’ll avoid coming to Knesset in near future’
    Health Minister Yaakov Litzman announced to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, “I will not come to the Knesset in the near future,” citing Knesset Members who were recently found infected and saying “being outside borders on actual danger to life.” “. From today’s Arutz Sheva.

    Arutz Sheva has reported at least three cabinet members, all on the Right, who say they will avoid the Knesset for an unspecified period because they have or might have contracted COVID-19. Two other MPs also say that they will avoid the Knesset for the same reason. Do any Israpundit readers know the political affiliation of these two MKs? (I don’t remember their names, but they were in Arutz Sheva a few days ago. Could someone look them up?).

    If a significant number of Right MKs boycott the Knesset over the next month, including Cabinet members and maybe even Bibi because of the virus panic, while the leftists remain in the Knesset, the leftists will dominate the politcking during the period when the new PM is chosen. Key rRight personnel will not be present to do counter-politicking. Gantz’s election will thereby be assured to replace Bibi.

    Remember that the Coronavirus Was ‘Made In China’
    By Steven Mosher | March 16, 2020 | 4:27pm EDT
    5-7 minutes

    I can’t believe how many people in the media and in politics are covering up for China. Astonishingly, they even call it “racist” to note that the coronavirus came from there.

    But it is common practice to name a disease after its place of origin. After all, Ebola is named after a river in Africa, while the Zika virus is named for a place in Africa. The West Nile Virus comes from the river of the same name, while Lyme disease is named after Lyme, Connecticut.

    Of course, sometimes we get it wrong. There is new evidence that the so-called “Spanish flu” that caused the great influenza epidemic in 1918-19 was actually brought to Europe during WWI by Chinese laborers hired to dig trenches. In other words, like the Chinese coronavirus we are dealing with now, it originated in China. It should be called the Chinese Flu not the Spanish Flu. I guess we owe an apology to Spain.

    But there is another, even better reason to single out China as the source of this scourge. China’s communist leaders hid the epidemic from their own people — and from the world — for two long months. During this time, the Chinese coronavirus reached epidemic proportions in the city of Wuhan and the surrounding countryside. Only after an estimated 5 million people had left Wuhan in the weeks leading up to the Chinese Lunar New Year did the communist authorities admit they had a problem and quarantined the entire city. Of course, by then these travelers and tourists had spread the disease to all parts of China and the world.

    The pandemic the world is now facing is thus a man-made disaster, and the men who created this disaster are the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, starting with President-for-Life Xi Jinping himself. What we are now facing is the “Made in China by the Chinese Communist Party coronavirus.” This is a little long and clumsy, so I will call it the “Chinese coronavirus” for short. Because that’s what it is.

    If there was ever a time to put a “country of origin” label on a product, it is now.

    The Chinese communists now claim that they are getting their epidemic under control, and they have gone into damage control mode. They have launched a worldwide propaganda campaign to shift the blame for the global pandemic away from China. Incredibly, they are now claiming that their handling of their own epidemic can serve as a model for other countries.

    According to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 9, “China has been updating the WHO & other countries including the U.S. on #COVID19 in an open, transparent & timely manner. China’s endeavor to combating the epidemic has bought time for int’l preparedness. Our contribution is there for all to see.”

    This is, of course, a complete inversion of the truth. The efforts of the communist leaders to “combat” the epidemic were at first characterized by deadly delays and a total lack of transparency, with deadly consequences for their own people and the world. Then, when they finally acted, they imposed terrifying police state controls which cost additional lives. The behavior of the Chinese Communist Party is a “model” of what not to do.

    In fact, the communist Chinese could not have done a better job at starting a global pandemic if they had been doing it on purpose. I tend to believe that it was incompetence rather than evil, but people around the world are dying in earnest nonetheless.

    In order to shift blame away from themselves, the Chinese communists are now suggesting that the Chinese coronavirus did not actually originate in China. One of China’s leading scientists, a Party official by the name of Zhong Nanshan, held a Feb. 27 press conference in the southern city of Guangzhou and said, “Though the COVID-19 was first discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China.”

    Chinese ambassadors and propaganda outlets around the world are now parroting Zhong’s absurd claim. I have argued that the most likely origin of the Chinese coronavirus is a Chinese government laboratory in Wuhan, and for this my article was censored on Facebook. Yet even some Chinese scientists now agree with me, pointing out that one research facility is only 300 yards from Wuhan Seafood Market that the authorities first blamed as the source of the virus — before they changed their story.

    Abraham Lincoln famously said that you can’t fool all the people, all the time. The Chinese Communist Party, which invented brainwashing almost a century ago, disagrees. And they have set out to fool not only their own people, but the world, about the origins of the Chinese coronavirus and the pandemic that it has caused.

    The Chinese communists are trying to bury the evidence of their own culpability for the pandemic under a torrent of propaganda. The facts, however, are clear. The Chinese coronavirus originated in Wuhan, was allowed to flare up into an epidemic, and then was allowed to spread throughout the rest of China and the world.

    I, for one, will not be cowed into silence by either leftist bullying on Facebook or communist Chinese propaganda.

    Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order.

    Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on LifeSiteNews.

  9. Steven Mosher: “Of course, sometimes we get it wrong. There is new evidence that the so-called “Spanish flu” that caused the great influenza epidemic in 1918-19 was actually brought to Europe during WWI by Chinese laborers hired to dig trenches. In other words, like the Chinese coronavirus we are dealing with now, it originated in China. It should be called the Chinese Flu not the Spanish Flu. I guess we owe an apology to Spain.”
    – Steven Mosher is a liar and a demagogue.
    He is referring to an article from the National Geographic from 2014 (just as I thought) of which he read only the title (which contradicts the article’s content):
    The rest of the National Geographic article states that there are not one but THREE possible sources for the Spanish flu with one of them on a military base in the United States in Camp Funston, Kansas where in March, 1918 48 soldiers died (the Chinese laborers were transported through Canada in sealed wagons and some were later quarantined).
    The historian who actually did the research “Writing in the January issue of the journal War in History, Humphries acknowledges that his hypothesis awaits confirmation by viral samples from flu victims. Such evidence would tie the disease’s origin to one location.
    But some other historians already find his argument convincing. [it’s their opinion, not evidence]”.
    Now, during the previous flu scare in 2009, I did some research on the Spanish flu. The 48 soldiers who died at Camp weren’t the only ones. As we know, the US joined the war effort late (I am going to write from memory because the information is on my old computer which is not connected to the Internet and it will take a long time to find assuming the link is not dead).
    The information comes from the history archive of the military unit which this happened to (sorry for my ignorance of the terminology, it was a shipful of soldiers).
    In late August of 1918 the US Army (I assume it was this branch of service) shipped its soldiers (Labor batallions or something like that) to work in France.
    On the way to France the soldiers started dying aboard ship of an unknown illness in such numbers that the bodies had to be buried at sea. The ship, however, continued on its route to France where the sick ones were distributed among the French hospitals, and the ones who had recovered were sent to work (construction, I believe).
    The Spanish flu epidemic in Europe started going full blast in October 1918 (as I remember from 2009).
    Wikipedia states (now) that it lasted from January, 1918 (possibly because the 1st American cases date from January, 1918) to December, 1920):
    “Historian Alfred W. Crosby stated that the flu originated in Kansas,[6] and popular author John Barry described Haskell County, Kansas, as the point of origin.[7] It has also been stated that, by late 1917, there had already been a first wave of the epidemic in at least 14 US military camps.[18]”.
    Note something interesting – the epidemic first hit the military.
    What I found out in 2009 (there are other theories):
    Before the soldiers were sent to the front, they were given many vaccinations. The military went really wild with vaccinations with soldiers often getting as many as 17 each.
    To the best of my recollection the doctors created a blood-based serum, put it in lab glass, dipped a scalpel into it, and made a small cut in the vaccinee’s arm (I hope they cleaned the scalpel after each dip).
    The Wikipedia article has a lot more hypotheses but there is no definitive evidence that the Spanish flu originated in China.
    NO ONE COULD SEE VIRUSES UNTIL THE EARLY 1930s because the microscopes were simply not strong enough. So when Wikipedia says that [Humphries] “…found archival evidence that a respiratory illness that struck northern China in November 1917 was identified a year later by Chinese health officials as identical to the Spanish flu” this only means that the symptoms in retrospect in their opinion were similar or the same – not that it was the same virus.

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