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  • Mark Lavie

A good plan to beat COVID-19 in Israel

Here's a sensible plan of action for Israel to replace the dithering and politicking that's been screwing up everything. It's from Naftali Bennett, a Netanyahu ally until (apparently) he got too popular and posed a threat...leaving him in the opposition. No matter. This is a cogent plan, and it takes steps toward involving and identifying with the people. The only way this can work is if the people adopt it. and the only way they'll adopt it is if they feel they're part of it, as opposed to the object of enforcement:

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Naftali Bennett: These are the actions I would have taken this evening as Prime Minister of Israel 22 September 2020 (Translation by IMRA) Naftali Bennett: These are the actions I would have taken this evening as Prime Minister of Israel: 1. Inform everyone tonight that until the end of the closure that there are no demonstrations and no prayer services. Crush the plague. There is no special consideration for any sector. 2. Already tomorrow (via Zoom) convene a national coalition of the Chief Rabbi of Israel, the Chief Kadi, the leaders of the left, the leaders of the right, the leaders of the ultra-Orthodox, the leaders of the Arabs, all the news editors in Israel, all influencers of public opinion with a clear national demand: everyone wears masks all the time and no gatherings. 3. Promote the concept of "mask instead of closure". If everyone wears masks we will defeat COVID-19 within 5-6 weeks. Operate a powerful national information campaign under in the management of ONE element in the system. 4. Instruct the Minister of Education to prepare THIS TIME SERIOUSLY the education system for operation without "Israbluff". With the advice of a coalition of education and epidemiology experts. Capsules are capsules. 5. Instruct the Projector to reach a capacity of 100,000 COVID-19 tests by October 15th. This is done by introducing more private companies such as My Heritage, using the Weizmann Institute and implementing pooling. (See the next section). 6. Set for the Projector the goal of implementing the pooling method (aggregation of 10-20 samples for one test analysis, so that testing capacity is increased by a factor of ten) across the system by October 15th, to allow unlimited daily test results in Israel (about a million). The method is used successfully in the United States, Germany, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Portugal and elsewhere. At the same time, order for the scientists at the Weizmann Institute to implement their efficient "Weizmann 2.0" method. In short, make testing a timely, inexpensive and accessible resource for all. 7. Immediately implement wastewater monitoring technology for early detection of COVID-19 eruptions. This is a wonderful Israeli technology, which is not used in Israel (!). 8. Set a target for the recruitment of 2,500 epidemiological researchers based on dismissed El Al selectors, unemployed travel agents, tour guides, unemployed in the cultural and entertainment fields. Establish 5-6 national call centers to go into operation. 9. Immediately launch a national serological survey to map out who has already been infected, areas of infection and more. (Israel has purchased millions of serological kits). 10. Instead of relying on the GSS locating method that sends hundreds of thousands of people to frustrating false isolations, map out the movements of those verified to have COVID-19 via the epidemiological investigations so that people are sent into isolation only on the basis of the data from the epidemiological investigations carried out by the epidemiological researchers. 11. Anyone sent for isolation undergoes a COVID-19 test within 24 hours and another after 48 hours in order to release them from isolation if the test comes out negative twice. This allows millions of people to return quickly to normal functioning. 12. Establish a group of about 3,000 "isolation assistants" who are a kind of "client manager" for people in isolation: to take care of their needs, medications, food and any necessary relief. This arrangement exists in many places in the world and helps people not to be afraid to go into isolation. 13. Immediately pass legislation that imposes sanctions on anyone caught without a mask inside offices and in enclosed spaces. Recruit 15,000 unemployed to become COVID-19 inspectors. 14. Operate the "Magen Avot Plus" program, which conducts a weekly check-up of all the elderly who are in nursing homes and organized institutions and of the staff which takes care of them. 15. Assign to the Ministry of Health the task of increasing the capacity for COVID-19 inpatient treatment from 800 to 1,200 by the beginning of November, and by 1,600 by 31 December. This is done through rapid training, creating field hospitals dedicated to COVID-19 in the north, center and south. It is unacceptable that from March until now the capacity has remained 800 patients. 16. Prepare by next week a clear plan to exit the quarantine. Target: Crushing COVID-19. 17. Instruct the Minister of Finance to present an all-encompassing plan for small businesses, along with a national plan for professional training in high-end fields within three weeks. According to the plan, unemployment benefits and sickness benefits will be channeled into training provided via the private sector. Care is taken especially for the older unemployed. 18. Establish the practice of engaging in direct dialogue with the public every two days, answering all questions and without trying to present a rosy picture. Alongside this take to the field with surprise visits, twice a week, to understand the true situation on the ground. 19. Appoint someone "responsible for learning from the world" who is in continuous contact with countries which have been successful in dealing with COVID-19 to bring insights and lessons from them for immediate implementation. 20. Prepare Ben Gurion Airport for the entry and exit of passengers via quick COVID-19 tests at the airport and a clear procedure for entry and exit from the country.

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