More than 580,000 Israelis have been in isolation at some point ​since the beginning of the corona crisis in the country, according to ​statistics presented on Tuesday to the Special Committee on the Novel Coronavirus and for Examining the State’s Preparations for Epidemics and Earthquakes.

Committee Chairwoman MK Yifat Shasha-Biton welcomed the increase in the number of epidemiologists conducting contact tracing investigations of those who have contracted the coronavirus.

“The corona [pandemic] has shined a new light on the years-long neglect in the public health system, and we should welcome the increase in the number of epidemiologists, which reinforces this system,” Shasha-Biton said.

Contact tracing investigations seek to identify and send into quarantine all those who may have been exposed to patients in the days before they were diagnosed, hopefully cutting off the spread of the coronavirus.

In Israel, there is one epidemiologist for every 300,000 people. In Germany there is one epidemiologist for every 4,000 people. In the UK, the rate is even higher, with one epidemiologist responsible for 2,200 people. In New York, each epidemiologist is responsible for 6,200 people and in Michigan, the rate is one epidemiologist for every 1,400 residents.