Israel's Ministry of Health decided earlier today to recommend wearing masks in indoor places and crowded spaces and when meeting people-at-risk as the number of new Covid cases continues to rise in the country. Yesterday 4,585 new Covid cases were reported by the Ministry of Health, up from 2,471 week-on-week. At this stage the recommendation is not binding but at the discretion of the individual.
The Ministry of Health has also urged parents to get their children aged 5-11 inoculated against Covid with two vaccine doses and asked over-60s to get their fourth vaccination. Introducing a fifth vaccination for the over-60s is being considered.
The R basic reproduction number has risen to 1.1, indicating that the virus is again spreading, and 20% of PCR tests administered yesterday returned positive results. There are currently 89 people seriously in hospital with Covid and two people died yesterday from Covid, the first fatalities for over a week, bringing the death toll in Israel since the start of the pandemic to 10,866.
Israel's coronavirus czar Dr. Salman Zarka said that the resurgence of the virus seems to be triggered by the Omicron BA5 sub-variant, although it seems to be no more severe than previous Omicron variants. He recommended that people returning from abroad who feel unwell take PCR tests so that the Ministry of Health can keep track of the entry of new variants. He stressed that it remained important for people testing positive to undergo isolation.
Dr. Zarka said, "We are happy about the return to normal but that is not to say that those people at risk must remain shut up in their homes. We hope that everybody will enjoy the summer and will protect themselves with masks, vaccinations, and tests."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 8, 2022.
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