Bennett: We may peak at over 50,000 new Covid cases daily

Naftali Bennett Photo: Marc Israel Sellem Haaretz

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has unveiled new measures to cope with the fast-growing spread of Omicron.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened a press conference this eveningת amid confusing government instructions on coping with the Covid Omicron variant and the near collapse of the nationwide PCR testing network.

He said, "We already have 5,000 new cases a day and by the end of the week, we will cross the 20,000 threshold for new daily cases. At the peak of the wave, we could cross the 50,000 a day threshold."

Bennett unveiled a range of measures to combat the exponentially growing number of daily infections. Fourth booster vaccinations are immediately available for all over 60s, he said and he urged people to go out and get vaccinated. All Israelis aged five and up who are fully vaccinated will henceforth be exempted from isolation, if they come in to contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid. He also announced that unvaccinated schoolchildren requiring a PCR test because of contact with a person testing positive for Covid can now do so through an antigen test administered at their schools.

Bennett said that the government was striving to steer a course between avoiding closures and damage to the economy and minimizing the number of people who are seriously ill from Covid. He urged those in high risk groups to take care of themselves and he asked all Israeli who are not fully vaccinated to get their jabs.

Earlier in the day at the cabinet meeting, speaking about the huge lines at PCR test centers, Bennett said, "We cannot meet the supply of tests. We will have to raise the bar for those who can be tested. We do not have enough capacity. No country has."

Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz said, "We do the most testing in the world relative to the size of our population but there are lines. We will set criteria for who is eligible for a test and we will publish that soon. We need tests in order to give out treatment."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 2, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

Naftali Bennett Photo: Marc Israel Sellem Haaretz
Naftali Bennett Photo: Marc Israel Sellem Haaretz
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