Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Minute by minute: the latest on the covid-19 pandemic

Israel to add the United States, Canada and Germany to the no-fly list

Israel will add 10 more countries, including the United States and Canada, to its “red” no-fly list as it braces for a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections.

Subject to ministerial approval, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey will be added to the “red” list at midnight on Tuesday. The list already includes much of Africa, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

“Time is running out,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned, speaking at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting. “The wave is coming. Each family must be prepared, each person must make sure that they are vaccinated with three vaccines, and that their children are vaccinated.”

On Saturday night, it was announced that Bennett was canceling the annual Sunday night reception with journalists, diplomats and others, “due to growing concern about a possible new wave of covid in Israel.”

Meanwhile, the country is stepping up its vaccination campaign for children, with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz telling Kan Radio that this week he would “invade” the education system, multiplying by 10 the number of vaccination centers in schools. , up to 500. He added that there are some indications that the effectiveness of the booster vaccine has decreased, and that a fourth dose of vaccination may be needed, especially for the elderly.

In an attempt to curb the spread of the omicron variant, which is spreading rapidly, Israel has barred most foreigners from entering the country.

Israelis are mostly barred from visiting “red” list countries; travelers returning from them must self-isolate for seven days, first in quarantine hotels and then, upon receiving a negative PCR test, at home, provided they sign a contract agreeing to have their movements tracked.

Despite these measures, the numbers of covid-19 in Israel have been rising, with 875 more cases recorded on Friday, the highest number in at least a month, before dropping to 372 on Saturday, due to the lower number of testing over the weekend (in late summer, infections peaked at more than 10,000 a day). Serious cases increased by one, to 81. Less than three months ago, at the height of the fourth wave, they were over 750.

More context: the number of people who contract the omicron variant also continues to grow. According to the Ministry of Health, 134 people have already been identified who have contracted the variant, compared to 89 a few days ago.

There is a “high suspicion” of omicron in more than 300 additional cases. The R coefficient, the number of infected people for each covid-19 patient, remains just above one, a threshold that was exceeded more than a month ago.

“If what is happening in Europe happens here,” Dr. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science told Israel’s Channel 12, “we will see infections doubling every two or three days.”

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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