Health department attacks doctor who criticized Omicron’s response

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health criticized a prominent doctor who criticized Israel’s response to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and the government’s quarantine policies.

In an opinion piece published Saturday on the Walla news site, Dr. Edith Matut, of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, said policymakers were still motivated by “anxiety and a sense of fear” and noted that despite being more contagious, the alternative Omicron is less virulent than Previous strains of coronavirus.

“Important to know: The numbers given to us of hospitalized coronavirus patients — whether mild (mostly) or severe — have coronavirus, but the vast majority of them have not been hospitalized for coronavirus,” wrote Matute, the hospital’s director of anesthesia.

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According to her, two children being treated in hospital – one suffering from cerebral hemorrhage and the other with cystitis – are listed as serious cases of coronavirus, although that is not the reason for their hospitalization.

A general view of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, November 10, 2020 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

“Therefore, publishing the number of severe coronavirus patients that appears in the media every day is misleading,” she added.

Matut went on to say a new approach to Omicron was needed and called for the quarantine rules to be relaxed for children, especially those without symptoms.

People are forced to be imprisoned in their homes. We are in a complete virtual siege and the country is on the verge of collapse. Are we crazy? She asked.

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Hours later, the Ministry of Health issued a statement against Matut, calling his proposal to relax quarantine rules “unacceptable”. »

“The policy proposed by Professor Matut is likely to cause serious harm to vulnerable groups and an increase in the number of serious diseases and deaths,” the ministry said.

“Unfortunately, Professor Matute’s behavior and the language she chose to express herself raise concerns that sometimes the thirst for publicity takes precedence over responsibility,” the ministry adds.

The ministry also criticized Ichilov Hospital for publishing excerpts of Matut’s opinion piece on its Twitter account, saying it was “indecent and prohibited”.

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