A top Israeli doctor is insisting that the government ended the coronavirus mask mandate prematurely, and that the pandemic is not over in the Jewish state.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his government officially ended the mask mandate and most other COVID-related restrictions ahead of the Passover holiday. Last week they also met to discuss putting an end to PCR tests on travelers entering the country through Ben Gurion Airport.
According to Prof. Yehuda Adler, an expert in cardiology, internal medicine and the coronavirus pandemic, these were populist decisions on the part of Bennett and his ministers.
“What’s more fun than coming to a holiday celebration without masks?” asked Prof. Adler in remarks to the Ynet news portal. “I think that [the government] acted too soon…in order to please the public.”
The professor noted that Israel still has hundreds of people hospitalized in serious condition with COVID-19. “Our situation is not good,” he stressed. “I’m telling you, guys, be careful. I suggest, despite the government decision, and even though it is not popular, to keep wearing masks indoors.”
Saying the mask mandate is no longer popular is probably an understatement.
By now, most Israelis see the coronavirus pandemic as something in the rearview mirror. It’s done, over and the country is moving on. It’ll be a hard sell to get any significant number of people to return to the restrictions of the past two years, and no politician is going to want to be the one to go down that route.