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COVID: Cabinet to meet on new restrictions as cases surge past 6,300

CM 10/08/2021

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The coronavirus cabinet is set to meet on Wednesday after Israel registered a surge in new cases on Monday, more than 6,300 in 24 hours. It was the highest number since February, when the pandemic was still peaking.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and health officials met on Tuesday afternoon to assess the situation and formulate recommendations that will be brought before the ministers.
They will recommend that cabinet apply the Green Pass outline to most commercial activities and venues, as well as to place a cap on private gatherings of 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.
The Green Pass outline, which grants access to venues and activities to people who are fully vaccinated, recovered or who underwent a coronavirus rapid test in the previous 24 hours, currently applies only to indoor cultural and sporting events, gyms, restaurants, cafés and dining rooms, conferences and places of worship. If the proposal is approved, the Green Pass will be required also to access museums, libraries, swimming pools and most businesses.

Currently, children under 12 are exempt. But starting from August 20, the exemption will be canceled.
According to a recommendation of health officials, toddlers under the age of three will remain exempt. Children ages three to 12 who cannot be vaccinated will need to undergo a test, but they will receive it for free.
The date for the expanded Green Pass to come into effect will be determined during the cabinet meeting.
Bennett was expected to discuss the issue of strengthening the health system later on Tuesday evening.
“We are at a critical point for all of us, for the health, the life and the economy,” coronavirus commissioner Prof. Salman Zarka told KAN Reshet Bet earlier in the day.
Some 6,343 cases were registered on Monday, and almost 5% of the 130,000 people who were screened tested positive. That rate was the highest in five months.
The number of patients in serious condition continued to rise, and there were 388 as of Tuesday evening. A week earlier, there were 232, including 63 on ventilators.
Seventeen people died on Sunday, making it the deadliest day since the beginning of April, the Health Ministry reported Tuesday.
During the peak of the third wave, there were days when dozens of people died of COVID-19 within 24 hours. But the current morbidity represents a dramatic increase compared with a few weeks ago. During the whole month of June, seven people succumbed to COVID-19; more than 80 have died in August.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 6,571 people have died in Israel.
Government and health officials hope a significant improvement will be brought about by the third vaccine shot being offered to Israelis over the age of 60 to reinforce their immunization.
Since the new campaign was launched on July 30, some 620,000 people have been inoculated with the booster shot.
There is an improvement in the vaccination rate of more than one million eligible Israelis who have not received a shot, Zarka said.
“There is a shift,” he said, adding that the ministry’s efforts are in cooperation with local authorities, health funds and other relevant entities.
In the meantime, starting on Wednesday, new restrictions will be imposed on travelers coming back from more countries, including the US, France, Italy, Greece and Germany. Individuals who enter Israel from these countries will be required to self-isolate for a minimum of seven days even if they are vaccinated or recovered.
As of Wednesday, the list of orange countries under a severe travel warning includes Botswana, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Eswatini (Swaziland), Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the US, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Starting from next Monday, individuals entering Israel from all nations will have to quarantine, unless the country is explicitly classified as yellow by the Health Ministry. The only countries that are set to be included in the list at the moment are Hong Kong, Hungary, Taiwan, Moldova, New Zealand, China, Singapore and the Czech Republic.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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