Coronavirus czar warns Arab sector: Follow rules or expect lockdown

Prof. Ronni Gamzu visits Umm al-Fahm on October 24, 2020 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Prof. Ronni Gamzu visits Umm al-Fahm on October 24, 2020
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Coronavirus commissioner Prof. Ronni Gamzu called on the Arab community to get tested and to stop holding weddings.
He spoke during a visit to Umm al-Fahm on Saturday. The city has seen an increase in morbidity in recent days and is on the cusp of becoming red and facing closure. Around 12% of people being screened for the virus test positive.
“Go and get tested,” Gamzu said during the visit, “only then can we control the situation. Otherwise, you cannot eliminate the virus - you don’t find [the sick] and they circulate among you.”
The number of people in the Arab sector being screened had gone up during the lockdown, but has since declined. 
His visit came a day before the government is expected to resume talks about how to open schools for grades 1-4. The exit strategy the Health Ministry submitted involves opening school a week from Sunday, so long as there are around 1,000 new cases per day.
Gamzu expressed his opposition to opening first and second grades without capsules during the visit, too.
He and Ayam Saif, coronavirus project coordinator for Israel’s Arab sector, both condemned the community for allowing weddings and said that illegal gatherings would only lead to lockdown.
“You want commerce, you want a small wedding in an open space, he wants school - you cannot open a school with 12% testing positive. Why? Because the children will come to school infected and there are 30 children in the class,” Gamzu said.
He added that it is not only in the Arab sector where there are violations, but also in the Jewish sectors, where young adults hold raves and infect each other. “The police tell me, ‘Look, so and so weddings were here or there,’ and I say to them, ‘wait 10 days, two weeks - the sick people will surface.
“If the residents do not keep the rules, then in Umm al-Fahm and in other cities there will be a lockdown in two weeks.”
Head of Public Health Services, Sharon Alroy-Preis, also attended the visit.