Virus Czar States Restrictions to Remain3 min read
On Monday, Salman Zarka, the coronavirus czar said that falling rates of COVID-19 infections in the country are certainly an encouraging sign that the fourth wave is waning, but did say that the country should not drop its guard. In a video press briefing, Zarka said that he was reviewing the falling rates in infection and were planning to ease the quarantine restrictions for school kids who are exposed to confirmed cases. He stated that while health officials were quite ‘optimistic’ about the fourth wave waning, he cautioned that they weren’t there as yet. He added that they wouldn’t exit the fourth wave so quickly and there was still danger.
The national czar said that the virus was still not gone and they had to protect themselves and be cautious. Zarka said that they needed to learn from the third wave that ended in June and daily infections had fallen to as low as a few dozen per day and it appeared as if Israel had put the pandemic behind it. However, infections saw a surge upon lifting of health restrictions, primarily because of the highly contagious Delta variant of the disease, which was a relatively new mutation at that time. He said that their assumption was that there were new variants in the world and the virus still exists.
He added that they had to be careful about running their everyday lives to avoid a fifth wave from happening. Zarka disclosed that for the time being, they did not have any plans for ending the use of the Green Pass system that grants permits to the holders who are vaccinated against COVID-19 to gain access to public venues, such as gymnasiums, attractions and restaurants. These places are off-limits to people who don’t have a Green Pass. A PCR virus test can also be taken for getting a temporary Green Pass.
Zarka said that canceling this system is not on the table because it was introduced to protect the people would be continued for weeks, if not for months. While daily cases are falling, the slide in the number of patients in serious condition has been very slow. Zarka said that he is hoping to see a significant fall in the number of serious cases in two weeks. On Monday, the Health Ministry released figures showing that 1,467 new coronavirus cases had been diagnosed a day earlier. The number had almost been 10,000 a month earlier. There are around 24,763 active cases in the country and 435 people are in serious condition.
A day earlier, 13 people lost their lives to the virus and the death toll has reached 7,937 since the beginning of the pandemic. Vaccination is the government’s key strategy in curbing the spread of the virus. However, it is a fact that not all of the people eligible for vaccination in the country have gotten their shots. 6,184,395 people have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, whereas two shots have been given to 5,684,666 and 3,756,638 people have gotten the third shot of the vaccine.