Two doctors are suspected of being infected with the newly discovered Omicron variant of the coronavirus and both of them are from Sheba Medical Center. This news comes from the hospital after the Big Coronavirus Law was extended by the Knesset and countries were condemned by the UN secretary general for imposing travel restrictions against the African countries. The first doctor is a physician at Sheba, who had returned from London a few days ago after attending a medical conference. He had tested positive for the coronavirus and is suspected of having the Omicron variant, but his genetic sequencing results have not returned as yet.
He had been in contact with a 70-year old doctor, who has also tested positive for COVID-19, and is now suspected of having the same variant. His PCR results are also being genetically sequenced. A hospital spokesperson said that they had reason to believe that the two doctors were suffering from Omicron. About the first doctor, a statement was issued on Monday by the hospital. It stated that the doctor had received all three doses of the coronavirus vaccine and his condition was mild. The hospital added that he did not need any medical attention and was improving.
The doctor is a cardiologist and he attended two big events, performed several catheterizations before he experienced any symptoms and got tested. All of the people he came into contact with have been alerted and are now being tested. The second doctor is also a cardiologist and is also fully vaccinated. If the doctors test positive for the Omicron variant, they would become the third and fourth cases of the new mutation in Israel. The first case had been detected in Israel over the weekend and the second had come to light on Sunday. Speaking at the Knesset, the Health Ministry said on Monday that they suspected 14 other people of having the new variant.
Some of these cases are people who have returned from abroad, but not all of them have done so, which means there is doubt that the variant may already be making its rounds in Israel. The Omicron variant has caused a great deal of worry worldwide and Israel is also very concerned. Therefore, the Knesset made the decision of extending the Big Coronavirus law till January of next year, which would enable the government to impose urgent restrictions for the coronavirus without requiring the approval of the Knesset.
The Knesset stated that their decision of extending the law was because they were aware that doing so could help them in preventing the risk of leading to a widespread outbreak in the country that could seriously harm the public health. Gilad Kariv, the MK of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, stated that they would have an exhaustive and comprehensive discussion on the bill in the future in order to improve the legislation. Meanwhile, nearly all of the travel and gathering restrictions that the coronavirus cabinet had announced on Saturday night have received the approval of the Knesset, with the exception of a few small ones.