December 5, 2022

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Virus Czar Says Compulsory COVID Quarantine Could End Next Month

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On Tuesday, Salman Zarka disclosed that there was a possibility that they would end the quarantine for patients of COVID-19, which is compulsory for now, sometime in the next month. In the last two years, a number of rules for the coronavirus had been introduced and isolation of the patients is one of the last ones that are still in place. Some of the other rules that are still in effect include face masks in medical and health centers. The national coronavirus czar spoke in a video briefing, along with Nachman Ash, the Director-General of the Health Ministry.

He stated that they would still recommend the patients to stay at home, but it would not be made compulsory anymore. He said that they need to tell the public that they can be trusted. Under the current rules, patients of coronavirus have to quarantine for at least five days after they have taken a test to confirm the infection. On the fifth day, people who have not had any symptoms for 48 hours and get negative on two additional tests can leave quarantine. Israel is currently coming out of the fifth wave of infections, as its daily number of cases had declined to 2,295 on Monday.

Previously, the daily caseload had reached tens of thousands and now they are preparing for a possible sixth wave of COVID-19 infections. But, Zarka did say that case numbers were not currently rising. He talked about the worries that a high infectious strain of the coronavirus, such as the Delta variant, could emerge. He also stated that they were setting up a civilian body that would be responsible for monitoring any new variants that pop up around the world. He also predicted that if there is not another wave of infections this year, then it is likely that life would go back to the days before COVID-19 in 2023.

Up until now, two doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to about 6.1 million people in Israel and three doses have been given to 4.49 million. Four shots have been administered to about 812,003 people. Ash talked about the ‘dilemma’ of possibility conducting yet another round of vaccinations for the virus before the start of winter. He stated that convincing people to get the fifth shot was a big challenge because currently they did not have any evidence that could justify getting it.

He revealed that they were considering the matter and had not made a decision as yet. According to Zarka, there is a decline in immunity amongst those who have gotten vaccinated as well as former patients over time. This means that by September or October, most of the population in Israel would once more be unprotected. He stated that a meeting of the officials was scheduled at the end of June for discussing this matter. Earlier in May, Israel had removed the requirement imposed on both Israeli and foreign travelers of taking a COVID-19 test upon their arrival at the Ben Gurion Airport.

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