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Israeli coronavirus czar: We are at war, next two weeks will be critical

CM 18/08/2021

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Israel is at war with the pandemic and the next two weeks will be critical, coronavirus commissioner Prof. Salman Zarka said Wednesday as the number of patients in serious conditions reached 578, over 100 of whom on ventilators.
“I believe we are at war, our morbidity is rising day by day,” Zarka said, speaking before the Knesset Law and Constitution Committee, which convened to discuss the new regulation that came into effect today.
“Looking at the data from this morning we cannot just say ‘maybe’,” he added. “This ‘maybe’ is worth the lives of the citizens of Israel.”

Over 120 people have succumbed to the virus in the past week, more than double than in the whole month of July and over 15 times more than in June.
Some 7,832 new cases were reported in Israel on Tuesday, with 5.6% of people screened found positive. Both figures marked a decrease compared to the previous day, when the country registered 8,734 cases and 6.2% of positivity rate – both marking the highest since February.
In the meantime the country continues the race to vaccinate individuals over 50 with a third dose.
“No one who is in critical conditions has been vaccinated three times,” Zarka said.
“The time until the eve of Rosh Hashanah is the critical time – or God forbid the virus will defeat us and we will get to a lockdown like the first and second ones, where we do not go farther than 100 meters from our houses,” Zarka said.
Zarka also said he believes the current restrictions are not sufficient to contain the outbreak.
“As the coronavirus commissioner, I would like to limit gatherings to 50 inside and 100 outside,” he said.
Starting from Wednesday, the Green Pass system was expanded to all activities and venues except for malls and stores, for which the Purple Ribbon outline was brought back, allowing a maximum of one person per seven square meters. Stores smaller than 100 sq.m. will be exempt.
Under the Green Pass system, only individuals who are vaccinated, have recovered or have undergone a rapid test in the previous 24 hours will be entitled to enter certain venues.
In addition, private gatherings, for which the Green Pass does not apply, have been capped at 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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