Three professors: Coronavirus Lockdown in Israel Was Unnecessary

Say Three Hebrew University Professors

by Adrian Filut and CTech Staff / CTech

Workers of the Jewish Burial Society wear protective gear just before carrying the body of a victim of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to be buried in Jerusalem, April 2, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

CTech – As the number of recoveries from coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to exceed the number of new diagnoses in Israel, three local professors are claiming that the lockdown measures implemented by the government over recent months were unnecessary and should be canceled immediately.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel now stands at 15,398, according to data released by the Ministry of Health on Sunday. The number of people who have died from complications related to the virus hit 200 on Sunday. Some 132 patients are in serious condition, including 100 in need of ventilator support. The number of Israelis who have recovered from the virus now stands at least 6,602, with the number of recoveries exceeding the number of new diagnoses for the 10th day in a row.

The government continued to roll back restrictions on Sunday, with all street stores, barbershops, and beauty salons now being allowed to open as long as they adhere to strict medical guidelines.

However, according to a model developed by three professors from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — David Gershon, founder and CEO of company SuperDerivatives; Alexander Lipton, co-founder and CTO of Sila; and Dr. Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist and the chairman of the Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians — many of the restrictions put in place were unnecessary to start with.

According to their model, countries which have more than 60 hospital beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients per one million citizens don’t need to implement lockdown measures. A partial lockdown might be required if a country has less than 60 hospital beds per one million citizens, but even then the economy doesn’t need to be shut down. Their model showed that Israel requires no more than 600 hospital beds for coronavirus patients to avoid a lockdown, which is five times fewer than the actual number in the country.<
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“Our research shows that if the goal was to prevent a shortage of ventilators in hospitals than the lockdown in Israel was unnecessary,” Gershon told Calcalist. “The rate of infection already decreased rapidly when the lockdown began and was low enough that as long as the population continued to act responsibly, we wouldn’t have reached a situation where there would have been a shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients.”

Gershon claimed that the number of deaths from Covid-19 is still dwarfed by that from seasonal flu viruses. “Over recent years there are around 1,000 deaths in Israel from flu and not 40-50 as some people have said,” added Gershon. “There is no reason to continue with the lockdown policy. The cost of the lockdown is astronomical, both from a financial and a human standpoint. Additionally, there is no doubt that the number of deaths that will be caused by the lockdown will be massive.”

April 28, 2020 | 5 Comments » | 613 views

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. “The economic crisis stemming from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will kill more people than the virus itself, Israeli health maintenance organization (HMO) Maccabi Healthcare Services CEO Ran Saar said in a recent interview with Calcalist.

    “I hear the cries of the self-employed and small business owners . Such a person is on the verge of suffering a medical event due to stress, pain, and fear, and this can manifest itself into a mental or physical condition. The loss to the economy will be mad. When we are done with the coronavirus and the healthcare system will no longer be in everyone’s focus, because of the poor economic situation, there will be no money for healthcare,” Saar said.” From another article in calalcistech.com, published by the Israeli firm calcalist, which specializes in high-tech development.

  2. “If lockdowns are being implemented to buy time until a vaccine is developed or a treatment for the virus found, then lockdowns may potentially protect people from dying of COVID-19. “However, such an approach will lead to economic mayhem, with many people dying from the consequences of economic and financial destruction,” the 24-page report says.” From a recent article about this study in the Jerusalem Post.

  3. “In theory, authorities can arrest an epidemic by quarantining all the popula- tion for a prolonged period, provided that such quarantine is technically feasible. However, the economic and social price of such quarantine is too much to bear, not to mention its decisively medieval nature. Expected consequences include the destruction of the economy, enormous unemployment, and social and health aspects of quarantine, such as isolation and loneliness, drug abuse, and domestic violence, not to mention hunger and social unrest.
    Historically, pandemics tend to attack the group, which is generally per- ceived as low-risk, such as young and healthy, more than elder people, who are usually viewed as vulnerable. For example, during the “Spanish Flu” and the “Swine Flu,” younger and healthier individuals were in greater danger than senior citizens. In contrast, COVID-19 attacks the elderly population much more aggressively than the younger ones, in line with the common flu. (In all pandemics and epidemics, people with pre-existing conditions belong to the high-risk group.) Therefore, the response and pandemic preparedness efforts should not be primarily based on the previously used measures but must be modeled based on the new reality on the ground.” From the study, as published in the medical journal arrive.com

  4. See the full report at https://arxiv.org/pdf/2004.10324v1.pdf. The authors point out that Israel’s rate of transmission of the disease had already declined by more than one half before the lockdown was imposed, and that it has remained stable at about the same level since it was imposed. On that basis they dispute the need for the lockdown. They also point out that the destruction of Israel’s economy by the lockdown will ultimately cost many more lives than the virus, as a result of severe emotional stress imposed on people who have lost their jobs, businesses, and homes, suicides, and increased drug addiction and alcoholism.

  5. @ Shmuel Mohalever:
    Adam, the “servants of the people” KNOW everything you are saying, and yet they PERSIST in doing what they are doing KNOWING that they are causing a worldwide economic catastrophe.
    This can mean only one thing – they are doing this ON PURPOSE.
    They are the only ones who know WHY this is done and what aims it serves.
    We have already figured out ONE of those aims – the creation of an AI concentration camp for all of us.
    There may be other goals they want to achieve.
    Saving lives is NOT one of them.
    It must be something REALLY important if, in order to accomplish this, it’s worth it to them to destroy possibly billions of people’s lives without fear of repercussions or in spite of that fear.
    The world will be changed forever even if they don’t succeed.

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