Scissors Movement to aid in COVID-19 epidemiological investigations

"Early questioning will allow us to save lives and break infection chains."

Israeli soldiers at the IDF Corona Task Force Headquarters as they conduct epidemiological investigations as part of the army's effort to trace chains of infection to curb the spread of coronavirus, Ramle, Israel, September 17, 2020 (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
Israeli soldiers at the IDF Corona Task Force Headquarters as they conduct epidemiological investigations as part of the army's effort to trace chains of infection to curb the spread of coronavirus, Ramle, Israel, September 17, 2020
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
The Scissors Movement will join the national effort to fight the coronavirus outbreak by helping to assist citizens ahead of epidemiological investigations conducted by the Health Ministry.
According to its Hebrew website, the "Scissors Movement - Citizens Interrupting Infection" – misparaim in Hebrew – was established with the aim of assisting the national effort in dealing with epidemiological investigation difficulties by establishing a voluntary, civic interrogation system to which potential patients can turn as early as the onset of symptoms, without waiting for Corona test results.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and the Scissors Movement agreed on integrating the civilian initiative into the national effort on Sunday.
"The epidemiological investigations are critical to cutting off the chain of infection," said Edelstein. "Any such civilian initiative organized with the Health Ministry's professionals is welcome and assists the State of Israel in the fight against the coronavirus. I thank Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis [head of the ministry's public health services] for handling the issue and the Scissors initiative."
"In these moments, the ability to join forces and work together, with all parties, is of paramount importance to succeed in overcoming this epidemic," said Alroy-Preis.
"The Health Ministry welcomes initiatives that help to break down contagion chains in effective field work that connects to the main efforts made by the Ministry and the district health bureaus," added Alroy-Preis, describing the Scissors Movement as one such initiative that "comes from citizens who want to work with the ministry and help in the effort by helping to reduce the exposure of people who are verified contacts, publishing information on social media, and producing informative materials tailored to the movement's target audiences."
"It's in our hands," stressed Maayan Gordon from the Scissors Movement. "Early questioning will allow us to save lives and break infection chains. We call on anyone who feels unwell, anyone in quarantine, anyone who is afraid of being infected, to contact us on the website or at *3079, and undergo a preliminary and anonymous interview. Together we will save lives."
At least 50% of coronavirus patients lie during their epidemiological investigation, the Home Front Command announced in October.
Each Home Front Command investigator spends up to four hours per epidemiological investigation. On occasion it can take less, but this is because when an investigator calls a coronavirus patient, the patient hangs up.
A citizen is not obligated to cooperate with an epidemiological investigator.
Epidemiological investigators are tasked with breaking the chain of infection. However, the task cannot be done without the cooperation of those being investigated, Home Front Command said.
Celia Jean contributed to this report.