By Daniel Meron
Two years into the pandemic, nations across the globe are still struggling to cope with the profound challenges that coronavirus poses. Israel’s ability to deal with emergency situations, improvise and respond quickly and flexibly have all factored into its success in coping with the pandemic. With its rapid vaccine rollout last year and as the first country to give a booster shot to the general public, Israel has important lessons to share.
The Israeli foreign ministry has been at the forefront of the effort to help its partners cope with the public health crisis. Mashav, the foreign ministry’s agency for international cooperation, has also several aid and cooperation campaigns currently active around the world. Its “Better Together” initiative has sent assistance packages containing hundreds of kilos of PPE gear, syringes and medications to 52 countries across the globe, Cyprus among them. As part of the excellent relations between the two countries, two innovative portable respirators for patient transport as well as personal protective equipment for the medical staff were delivered in January 2022 to the Cypriot health ministry.
The know-how that Israel has shared with other countries on its vaccine campaign and booster shots has undoubtedly contributed to managing the pandemic more effectively. The Israeli health ministry has played a key role in the effort to share information on Israel’s insights and best practices on the outbreak. Following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Cyprus’ reference hospital for Covid-19 joined forces with Sheba Medical Centre in Israel in exchanging treatment methods and expertise on Covid-19 cases. Moreover, the intensive care unit of the Nicosia general hospital and the corresponding unit at Sheba Medical Centre initiated sharing treatment protocols and experience to better support patients.
Israel’s innovative digital healthcare and telehealth systems have also served as an example for others. The country’s national digitalised healthcare system was one of the main factors that led to the successful vaccination drive. Moreover, the advent of Covid-19 brought the topic of telemedicine to the fore of the global tech discourse. HealthIL – a joint venture of the Israeli economy ministry of, Digital Israel Bureau, and the Israel Innovation Institute – seeks to improve healthcare by bringing Israel’s healthcare innovation ecosystem, through global collaborations, to the world.
Israel is eager to join hands with the international community in order to effectively address this current global challenge. Ultimately, the world will only succeed in collectively overcoming this pandemic, if we work together and collaborate. Israel is looking forward to continuing to share its insights and experiences in all spheres of crisis management and public health.
Ambassador Daniel Meron is the Covid-19 project manager at the Israeli foreign ministry