by: Kate Norman
Monday, 10 January 2022 | As Israel continues breaking records for new COVID-19 cases amid the highly contagious Omicron variant, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on social media that the Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday was presented with information predicting that some 2–4 million Israelis “will be infected in the current wave.”
“The Omicron wave is upon us, and as you all are feeling, it is very contagious,” Prime Minister Bennett said at the start of the cabinet meeting yesterday.
Nearly 115,000 Israelis have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the month—more than the sum of the three previous months combined, Ynetnews reported yesterday.
As of Sunday, Israel has 204 serious COVID cases, i24news reported, with 53 patients hooked up to ventilators and 68 in critical condition. Israel yesterday saw 17,518 new cases out of 159,459 tested, a positive test rate of 11.71%.
The government has been scrambling to curb, or at least contain, the spread, with ever-changing restrictions and regulations, including switching up testing requirements and relegating most people to rely on at-home test kits. Those kits, however, are expensive and harder to find due to the new high demand.
Between the severe wave of Omicron combined with a surging number of flu cases, some Israeli medical experts fear seeing overwhelmed hospitals on the horizon.
But every new wave of COVID outbreaks is “difficult and cumbersome” at the beginning, Prime Minister Bennett said at yesterday’s cabinet meeting in comments published by his office.
“We are prepared with drugs, hospital beds, vaccines that are accessible to children, protection for the senior population and the fourth dose of the vaccine, and we are currently seeing to tests as well,” Bennett added.
Israel recently became the first country in the world to begin administering the fourth booster shot to the over-60 population and medical workers.
“We will find the balance between a functioning economy and management of the crisis,” Bennett concluded. “This wave will not last forever. There will be several tough weeks but we will get through then together.”
Posted on January 10, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 10, 2022)
Photo Credit: Jenna Solomon/bridgesforpeace.com
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