Israel scrambles to curb jumps of COVID infection


Tel Aviv (AP), Israel — Israel, the world leader in coronavirus vaccination, has reported the highest daily infection rate in three months as it scrambled to contain the spread of the new delta variant.

Authorities are competing to vaccinate children and are considering stricter travel restrictions at major airports in the country.

The Ministry of Health on Thursday reported 307 new cases on Wednesday. This is the highest in almost three months, up from 293 newly diagnosed cases the day before. The Ministry of Health reportedly expects these numbers to skyrocket in the coming days, raising concerns that Israel is plunging into crisis.

In recent months, Israel has reopened businesses, schools and event venues, inoculating about 85% of the adult population and then lifting almost all restrictions. It is now regarded as a kind of early warning system for other countries.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Tuesday that he would immunize thousands of children by the middle of the month.

Despite concerns, this trend remains little higher when it comes to viral deaths. In the last two weeks, the ministry has recorded only one. In Israel, out of a population of 9.3 million, 5.1 million are twice as vaccinated as needed. An additional 400,000 people receive at least one dose.

This week Israel recorded the maximum number of vaccinations for children and re-imposed rules requiring people to wear masks indoors. For the first time, Bennett appointed a coronavirus commissioner to manage arrivals at Ben Gurion International Airport, the main gateway to Israel. This is what he called a “giant national vulnerability.”

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said Wednesday that authorities were prepared to close the airport if the trend worsened.

The Israeli Haaretz newspaper reports that authorities are considering reviving a “green pass” system that distinguishes between vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens in access to certain locations and activities. I did.

Last week, the Israeli government postponed a plan to reopen the country for vaccinated tourists. Spread of delta variants.

Israel was initially set to reopen its borders to vaccinated visitors on Thursday after a major closure of the country during a pandemic. A group of vaccinated tourists had already begun to allow entry into May.

However, after an increase in infections over the last 10 days, the government postponed that date to August 1.

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