Israel’s National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat said: “The goals of our policy at the moment are fourfold: Ensure blocking of the epidemic, improve preparations for its continued spread, create exit conditions and slow, cautious and graduated return to a different routine from that which is familiar to us,” writes Yossi Lempkowicz.
According to study conducted by the Deep Knowledge Group (DKG), Israel has ranked as the safest country to be in during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The Deep Knowledge Group website gave Israel the highest marks of any country in coronavirus safety with a score of 619, beating out other countries such as Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Greenland who all factored into the top ten.
The chart, published by the DKG, did not state how those rankings were given or what qualifications were required to receive the marks that were handed out.
The United States placed 27th on the list with a score of 140. At the bottom of the list was India which was ranked as the least safe country with a score of 39.48.
On an additional graph, the DKG also ranked the effectiveness of treatments given to patients of Covid-19 based on the country and this time Singapore took first place, with Israel coming in 9th.
In the chart of “Country Risk Level During COVID-19 Pandemic,” Italy is on top, followed by Indonesia, Spain, Iraq, Iran, the Netherlands, France and then the United States and England.
The Hong-Long based Deep Knowledge Group is a consortium of commercial and non-profit organizations active on many fronts in the realm of DeepTech and Frontier Technologies, ranging from scientific research to investment, entrepreneurship, analytics, media, philanthropy and more.
Despite the absence of an official government and no ruling coalition in the Knesset, the Netanyahu’s interim government has been quick to act after the disease broke out in central China.
It began with limiting gatherings of 100 people and then down to 10 people. On 19 March, Netanyahu declared a national state of emergency, saying that existing restrictions would henceforth be legally enforceable, and violators would be fined.
Israelis were not allowed to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. Essential services—including food stores, pharmacies, and banks—would remain open. Restrictions on movement were further tightened on 25 March.
Even with the ranking, Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) head Meir Ben-Shabbat and Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov, are keeping a cautionary tone.
In a briefing on Tuesday (31 March), they discussed how the coronavirus epidemic is being dealt with and on the steps planned to prevent it from spreading.
Ben-Shabbat said: “The goals of our policy at the moment are fourfold: Ensure blocking of the epidemic, improve preparations for its continued spread, create exit conditions and slow, cautious and graduated return to a different routine from that which is familiar to us.”
“All of this will be after Pesach and only after completion of preparations,” he said. “We are still in the danger zone. A single day like Purim or one localized flare-up would suffice to torpedo all our efforts; therefore, the existing restrictions must continue and all instructions followed.”
The Health Ministry reported on Thursday that 6,211 Israelis have so far been diagnosed with corona. Thirty-three people have died from COVID-19, some 107 are in serious condition. Thus far, 289 people in Israel have recovered from the disease.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said all Israelis should wear masks when out in public. He also introduced strict limitations to travel in and out of the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, which has one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the country as part of new directive to stop the spread of the virus.
A team of Israeli researchers says that they are days away from completing the production of the active component of a coronavirus vaccine that could be tested on humans as early as 1 June.
“We are in the final stages and within a few days we will hold the proteins – the active component of the vaccine,” Dr. Chen Katz, group leader of MIGAL’s biotechnology group, told The Jerusalem Post.
In late February, MIGAL, the Galilee Research Institute, committed to completing production of its vaccine within three weeks and having it on the market in 90 days. Katz said they were slightly delayed because it took longer than expected to receive the genetic construct that they ordered from China due to the airways being closed and it having to be rerouted.
For the past four years, researchers at MIGAL scientists have been developing a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which causes a bronchial disease affecting poultry. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven in preclinical trials carried out at the Veterinary Institute.