In the post-pandemic world, the State of Israel has been a trailblazer. It carried out one of the biggest and fastest vaccination drives in the world, allowing the citizens of the country to return to normal in the month of May.
However, just recently, dozens of new cases of the novel coronavirus surfaced in schools in two cities, Binyamina and Modiin. This led to hundreds of people being forced to quarantine to curb the spread of the deadly disease once again. The relevant authorities in the country also decided to make 12- to 15-year-old youngsters eligible for the vaccine, but a large chunk of them have yet to be inoculated.
Despite this recent outbreak, there have been very few deaths, on account of the coronavirus. Just 26 patients, out of a total of 729, were taken to the hospital to receive medical care. This was revealed by the Health Ministry, in its latest data release. The overall daily caseload was reported to be far less than the peak that the country faced back in mid-January when the cases were at an all-time high and went as high as 8,000 new daily cases.
The containment efforts being made by the government have also been in vain, as the virus is quickly spreading through different cities. Most of those who had previously contracted the deadly disease were vaccinated, as per Prof. Chezy Levy, the Director-General of the Health Ministry. However, he did not specify whether these former patients were given only a single dose or fully inoculated.
Experts have further added that the delta variant does not pose much of a risk to people who have received both doses of the virus. Up until now, the country has been relying on the two-dose mRNA vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer, and BioNTech.
Seeing the rising cases, many Israeli health experts and officials have taken to blame the delta variant for the recent spread. They have also pointed an accusatory finger at international travelers, who have been bringing in the variant and thus, causing outbreaks.
According to a spokeswoman of the Health Ministry, Anat Danieli, the delta variant was found to be present in 180 samples of all those tested just last Sunday. However, it had not been clear just how many of these new cases carried the same variant, given that the testing can take at least 10 days.
Ever since last Saturday, Israel has been recording its weekly average of new cases at more than 72. This number was previously recorded to be less than 25. In addition, right before this most recent outbreak, no new cases were being recorded on a daily basis. Around 57% of the total population of the country has received both doses of the coronavirus.
Witnessing the sudden outbreak, Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister of Israel, decided to reinstate the coronavirus cabinet, the ministerial crisis committee. Furthermore, the Tourism Ministry has informed that individual tourist visas will now be issued from the 1st of August, rather than the 1st of July.