When you take a census of B’nei Yisrael according to their enrollment, each shall pay Hashem a ransom for himself on being enrolled, that no plague may come upon them through their being enrolled. Exodus 30:12 (The Israel Bible™)
Many critics deemed Israel’s decisive measures against the coronavirus outbreak as excessive. It caused ire in China, South Korea, and Italy when tourists from those countries were initially turned back from Israel without warning. China’s ambassador to Israel even compared the travel ban to the Holocaust. No other country did more to expand travel restrictions as quickly as Israel did reports TOI.
By early March, while the scope of the threat of the outbreak grew and Rome and Washington came under criticism for not doing enough, much of the criticism waged at Israel was suddenly softened.
But the head of the Health ministry, Moshe Bar Siman-Tov’s goal of Israel’s aggressive campaign wasn’t necessarily because he thought he could stop it, but rather to maintain its spread to a level that wouldn’t cripple Israel’s ability to treat sick patients. That’s because if it spread too quickly, it would overwhelm Israel’s medical infrastructure. Israel seeks to avoid a scenario whereby their finite amount of respirators and lung specialists are overtaxed by a rapid-spread rate that the country’s health system can’t keep up with according to the TOI report.
The difference between a health system that can adequately address the spread and one that cannot could be hundreds of lives.