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Treasury chief comes out against ‘easy solution’ of lockdown to stop virus

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Finance Ministry Director-General Ram Belinkov said Thursday that the ministry opposes a new lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus infections, saying such a measure was just a way to avoid properly addressing the problem.

His remarks came as his counterpart at the Health Ministry said the lockdown option, though undesirable, was possible, and that officials will need to make a decision in the coming weeks if the new wave of infections gets worse.

Talk has swirled of a new potential lockdown during the coming Jewish holidays in September, though Health Ministry Nitzan Horowitz has said it will only be used as a “last resort.”

Belinkov said during a briefing for media: “We think that a lockdown is an easy solution, and we think it is a solution that is taken when you don’t want to deal [with the situation]. All means should be used to prevent a lockdown.”

Noting that previous lockdowns caused billions of shekels of damage to the economy, Belinkov said that it was “still too early” to discuss the idea and that such discourse was damaging to businesses by sowing panic.

Belinkov said that the Finance Ministry will “respond quickly in the event of a tightening of restrictions. At the moment there is no need to prepare specific steps.”

However, he added, if a lockdown is found necessary because of........

© The Times of Israel

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