Magen Israel

A national program for fighting the coronavirus, coordinating between multiple agencies, and engaging the public with the war on the healthcare crisis

About Magen Israel Program

A strategy for preventing infection and for maintaining a low R number (infection rate – the number of people a patient is expected to infect over the course of his or her illness) is key to the foundation of the program. It will serve as the main index for the various operational tools included in the program. The importance of reducing the infection rate will also take center stage in educating the public and promoting its engagement in the war on the coronavirus crisis, because the behavior of every individual can affect the infection rate.

Alongside the infection rate as the main index, the program defines hospitals and community primary healthcare capacity as an additional criterion for making decisions, especially regarding imposing restrictions; the most important consideration is whether to impose a lockdown. Hospitals and primary healthcare capacity is a safety prerequisite necessary for the operations within the national program, designed to ensure an adequate, accessible and functional level of healthcare services for all Israeli citizens at any given time, not only during the coronavirus crisis. Practical on-site indications from healthcare workers, alongside the nation-wide status report, are necessary for creating a precise "barometer" for a reliable status report about the healthcare system's capacity. This "barometer" is one of the Magen principles.

At the core of Magen Israel's operation is the "new contract" principle, expressing the state systems' and the general public's joint and mutual efforts to work together to contain the coronavirus pandemic, while renewing a mutual trust. The meaning of this "contract" is the optimal realization of the collective responsibility for waging war on the pandemic: On the one hand, the ministries and the State are responsible for managing the crisis professionally, rationally, transparently and collaboratively, out of sympathy to the social and financial hardships of this time. On the other hand, the general public should have a higher sense of personal responsibility, increased discipline, and compliance with guidance. Re-establishing trust is key to the success of the Magen Israel effort.

Throughout the entire program, a special emphasis will be placed on transparency, data precision, reliable report, sharing and consultation processes, and close cooperation with all partners acting in this field.

The program, which takes immediate effect, requires adjustments, tool creation, and joint recruitment. These are gradual processes, some of which require time and patience. We undertake to lead the program rationally, professionally, and with the citizens at the center. These are difficult and complicated times for all of us, health-wise, financially, and socially. Joint recruitment is the order of the day, and only by working together as one can we prevail over the coronavirus and take Israel back to normal life. We can win only if we stick together!

Principles of Magen Israel Program

At the core of Magen Israel's operation is the "new contract" principle, expressing the state's and the public's joint and mutual efforts to work together to win over the coronavirus pandemic, while re-establishing trust.


Founding a "Professional Coronavirus Cabinet"

The coronavirus crisis requires recruiting the best minds and specialists to handle the crisis and win over the virus. Magen Israel program includes the founding of a professional Coronavirus Cabinet whose task is to advise and assist in leading national efforts.

Members of the Cabinet
  • Prof. Ran Balicer – Cabinet Chief
  • Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis
  • Prof. Arnon Afek
  • Prof. Itamar Grotto
  • Prof. Nadav Davidovitch
  • Dr. Dror Dicker
  • Prof. Salman Zarka
  • Mr. Yoram Hamo
  • Dr. Boaz Lev
  • Dr. Adi Niv-Yegoda, Esq.
  • Dr. Dorit Nitzan
  • Dr. Udi Klinner
  • Prof. Galia Rahav
  • Prof. Shuki Shemer

For the plans presented before the Coronavirus Cabinet

Founding a "Barometer Team"

In order to provide a reliable and precise status report about hospitals and primary healthcare capacity, a "Barometer" team was formed, consisting of senior hospital officials, whose task is be hand on the situation and provide real-time updates. The Barometer team serves as the key tool for making major decisions, with an emphasis on broad resolution to impose restrictions on the public. The team is authorized to regularly update hospitals' occupancy status, provide Magen Israel Headquarters with regular status reports twice a week, and "raise a red flag" two weeks ahead of a possible failure.

Team Members
  • Dr. Hadar Elad – Head of the Community Medicine Division, ICDC, Ministry of Health
  • Heims Gila – Director of the Nursing Division, Rambam Medical Center
  • Prof. Pierre Singer – Director of the General Intensive Care Unit, Beilinson Medical Center
  • Prof. Idit Matot – Director of the Anesthesia, Pain and Intensive Care Division, Ichilov Medical Center
  • Dr. Itai Pessah – Director of Safra Children Hospital, Sheba Medical Center
  • Prof. Sigal Sviri – Director of the Intensive Care Unit, Hadassah Medical Center
  • Ms. Kalanit Kaye, Clalit Healthcare Services
Operative Configuration of Magen Israel Headquarters

Magen Israel Headquarters operates as the central coordinating agency and will operate several task-specific teams and headquarters:

  • Enforcement Headquarters – tasked with improving and developing on-scene enforcement and supervision processes, under the leadership of Israel Police and other regulatory agencies.
  • Public Education Headquarters – tasked with coordinating public education and public liaison processes, with a special emphasis on specific populations that require a unique and task-specific approach.
  • Magen Avot VeImahot Headquarters – the continuation of the national program for protecting residents of long term care facilities.
  • Local Authorities Headquarters – tasked with tightening relations with local authorities, developing the Traffic Light Model for local authorities, and developing solutions and tools to meet demands at the municipal level.
  • Health-Economy Headquarters – tasked with creating efficient cooperation and harmony between health-related and financial considerations, especially providing recommendations for an outline of restrictions for government consideration, all the while utilizing roundtable processes with representatives from government agencies and relevant organizations.

Consistent and Regular Information

Over the course of the coronavirus, one is exposed to copious amounts of data and information issued on a daily basis. Alongside decision makers and executive agencies, the Israeli public as a whole is also exposed to copious amounts of data with a varying degree of reliability regarding infection rate and the death toll, the rate of ventilated patients in hospitals, the scope of hospitalization, and more.

In addition to this data, Israeli citizens also encounter ever-changing, sometimes contradictory, projections on a daily basis. A uniform, up-to-date, and regular database is an essential and main component both for managing the crisis, making policies, implementing resolutions and for releasing useful information by citizens. Such a database requires constant improvement, especially concerning establishing interface ability between information systems, uniformity in the data collection method, and regular screening of gaps.

Magen Israel Program will create such a uniform database, with an emphasis on:

  • Projection – unifying the various models for the creation of a uniform prediction model
  • Infection rate – regularly checking this number and publishing it in regular intervals
  • Infection – handling information gaps and data interface ability to create a uniform picture

Furthermore, efforts will be made to create a picture of the guidelines and restrictions that will be as uniform and clear as possible and establish the basis for principles of reopening the economy and lifting restrictions.

Increasing Testing Capacity and Intelligence

Following the challenges of breaking the chains of infection, there will be a systematic increase of laboratories' capacity to carry out tests as required. The current updated objective for increasing testing capacity is 60,000 tests a day. In order to meet this objective, two new laboratories were established, in the North and Center Districts, joining the existing testing array.

On-Site Treatment

HaMagen – Contact Tracing as a Tool for Breaking the Chain of Infection

Breaking infection chains is the basis for reducing the infection rate.

What does the treatment include?
  • Testing processes
  • Tracing contacts
  • Regulating mandatory isolation

I would like further information

Local Councils Traffic Light Model

A relationship based on a trust between local councils and residents and the capacity to maintain this trust alongside extensive regulation generates a significant practical capacity that helps to break the chains of infection and make the public follow guidance.

I would like further information

New Contract with the Public

Barometer Report

The term "Barometer Report" refers to the weekly status assessment received from the community and hospitals. It provides the "Magen Israel" Director with an active status assessment, according to which he or she can determine whether the system can keep on function or is experiencing insufficiency.

The Barometer Report is a major tool for making the major decision, emphasizing broad decision for imposing public restrictions. The Barometer team, consisting of chief hospital officials, is authorized to regularly update the hospital capacity status assessment, providing a status assessment to "Magen Israel" Headquarters twice a week and "raising a red flag" two weeks ahead of a possible failure.

To the Barometer Reports

A New Contract - Restrictions Imposed on the Public

The principles of the "new contract" are especially relevant to the issue of the various restrictions imposed on the public. There is a direct link between the levels of public compliance and obedience to the guidelines and restrictions and the public's perception of them as being logical, practical, and uniform. Therefore, as to restrictions, the Magen Israel program will act according to clear and uniform principles for imposing restrictions on the public. The leading logic at the base of these principles is "minimum restrictions, maximum discipline."

Implementing Assessment Tools to Reinforce Effective Relations with the Public

As part of the "new contract" approach, better and more systematic tools for measuring the public's behavior, levels of compliance, and public education effectiveness are necessary. These measuring tools will be integrated as part of the Magen Israel program as supplementary indices that will assist in decision making processes and in considerations of imposing or lifting restrictions on the public. These indices will be created with expert help in the fields of behavioral economics and social psychology. It should be stressed that the goal of these indices is to assist in managing the public education discourse, in providing feedback to the public's actions, and in encouraging and providing incentives for responsible behavior that helps contain the spread of the virus.

Improving Monitoring, Control, Enforcement, and Supervision Processes

One of Magen Israel key components is leading innovative thinking processes in the fields of enforcement and supervision to improve the effect of enforcement on public's behavior. Within this framework, a new enforcement headquarters will be created jointly with Israel Police, the Home Front Command, and local authorities, tasked with systematically examining enforcement processes and resources and adjusting them to the major and most significant infection epicenters.

Advisory Public Council for Magen Israel