Some 1,019 empty chairs were placed in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Monday to represent the 1,019 Israelis who have died due to the coronavirus since the outbreak began. The death toll has since risen to 1,022.
The Standing Together movement organized the display with "one chair for each person the government was supposed to protect, but abandoned."
Each chair had a sign with the name and number of the person who had passed away due to the virus.
"Over 1,000 people have died. There are 800,000 unemployed people and the government continues to occupy itself in political squabbles and the political survival of the prime minister, and not the health and economic crises. Therefore, today we call for the establishment of an investigative committee, that will investigate the failures on the coronavirus and make it clear that abandoning [the matter] has consequences," said Alon-Lee Green, one of the heads of the Standing Together.
"This campaign is not a Yom Kippur War. We had many months to prepare for the entry of the virus into the country. The amount of time we had was wasted in a pathetic way," said Prof. Rafi Weldman, deputy administrator of the Sheba Medical Center. "We hoped for organization, an orderly division of labor, for the delegation of authority. Had that been the case, we would have been able to cope better, but our government has at this time been engaged in ego struggles, taking credit for dubious achievements that have vanished," he said.
"Even today, no one knows what will happen tomorrow," Weldman said, adding that "members of the health system are fighting with their bodies. We are in the last places in the number of hospital beds, doctors and nurses."
As of Monday morning, 1,022 Israelis have died due to the coronavirus and 131,970 have been infected since the beginning of the outbreak. Some 476 patients are in serious condition, including 137 on ventilators.
The Health Ministry reported on Monday that 2,257 new patients were diagnosed on Sunday. Out of the 19,353 tests taken, 12.2% were positive cases. This is the highest percentage of positive tests since the start of the pandemic.