(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he plans to enlist schoolchildren to help disinfect public areas from the coronavirus.
“This virus is sensitive to bleach and we must act in an orderly way to disinfect railway stations, bus stations, etc.,” the prime minister said in a statement. “To this end, over the vacation period, which may be extended, I will mobilize teenagers, both in schools and in youth movements, in a very meticulous way, to help with the disinfection. I will also ask the IDF to take care of certain installations.”
Israeli students are currently on break for the Purim holiday and are set to return on Thursday.
In an interview with Channel 12 news, Itamar Grotto, the Health Ministry’s deputy director general, criticized Netanyahu’s plan.
“Children and teenagers can get infected, but their death rate is very low,” Grotto said, according to the Times of Israel. “I do not think that disinfection is the solution — it is a secondary step. More care should be taken over contact between people.”
Twenty-five Israelis are known to be infected with the virus, including one man said to be fighting for his life.