İrem UZUN -TDO- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that the government reopened some parts of Israel's economy too quickly, leading to a resurgence in coronavirus infections nationwide. "Looking back, we can say that the last part of the opening of the economy was premature," Netanyahu told a press conference, referring to the reopening of bars, clubs, and event halls.
“We are in the midst of a global storm, which is growing… The second virus wave won’t skip almost any country... It requires fateful decisions every day, balancing between trial and error. You try, err and fix. That’s how all leaders are operating. In the first wave we had amazing success. The death toll was and remains very low. But the lockdown exacted a heavy toll on the economy,” he said. Netanyahu took responsibility, but not without inviting the public to share in the decision to reopen prematurely. He said that Israel opened up “because we listened to your hardships and wanted to put as many of you back into the workforce as possible.”
Addressing financial and personal struggles, Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yisrael Katz presented a plan that will include grants to 400,000 self-employed and business owners that he promised will be transferred to their bank accounts next week. “As for the self-employed and business owners hit by the coronavirus, the government will issue an immediate grant that will go straight into their bank accounts next week. There won’t be any conditions for the grants and no bureaucracy. It will be immediate. We will transfer more money and do more,” he added.