Israel’s health system is “only three weeks from a collapse,” according to Prof. Dov Shvarts, a former chief scientist for the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, who led a team of experts to help investigate the coronavirus over the past months.He said drastic steps must be taken or the country’s doctors will be forced to choose who will live and who will die. Today, there are around 80 patients who are intubated. The infection rate is doubling around every 10 days, which means that in about one-and-a-half weeks there will be 160 intubated patients. Ten days later there would be 320 and the system would buckle.Shvarts explained to The Jerusalem Post that the challenge is not the number of beds or available ventilators, but manpower. Although the Health Ministry on Monday approved an additional 2,000 nurses and 400 doctors, he said they need training and it will take time. “Now, it would be impossible,” he stressed.The country has 250 doctors and 1,000 nurses who are trained to handle acute, ventilated COVID-19 patients. An intensive care unit with 20 ventilated patients, all of whom need 24/7 care, requires 20 doctors and 95 nurses.“What happens if the number of serious patients passes 250?” Shvarts asked. “Red alert – people start to die.”Statistically, around half of all intubated patients will die anyway. Those who need ventilation and don’t receive it will also expire.“Doctors will be forced to decide who shall live and who shall die,” he said. “How do I choose who will live and who will die? This is a situation that none of us want to be in. We cannot let the system break.”But Shvarts said Israel is out of time and must act now, while still preserving key areas of our economy, and he said that he has a plan for how to do it.First, everyone can go to work every day from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., or on night shifts if they are required. Those who do not work night shifts will be under curfew from 8 p.m. until early the next morning.Second, on weekends, everyone who does not have to go to work or access an essential item or care will stay in their homes from Friday morning until Sunday morning.Third, companies that sell nonessential products or services, or where there is not a high risk of infection, will be closed with quick and fair government compensation, which will be funded by the immediate tax revenue generated by those who continue to operate.Fourth, people over the age of 67 will be asked voluntarily to stay indoors. He said that this could be legislated, but he believes that older people would listen to the rules if they had good role models and trusted in the government.Shvarts said the country’s prime minister, president and chief religious leaders are all over the age of 67 and should be the first to self-isolate.“They should be role models for the public so that the public can increase its trust in them,” he said.Finally, while the country is operating under closure for about three weeks, under the leadership of the coronavirus “czar,” it must organize a system to test, trace and isolate and cut the chain of infection within 24 hours. The work would be done in collaboration with the Home Front Command.“This is the way to save Israel,” he told the Post. “There is no time to spare."