The Israeli Government has approved the closure of Ben-Gurion Airport from tomrorow night until next Sunday in order to prevent the entry of additional mutated coronavirus variants into Israel..
The restrictions will apply to everyone, even those who have already been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus – amid fears that Israel’s vaccination campaign could lead to the emergence of an Israeli virus variant that is resistant to vaccines.
A special committee will be formed by the Health and Transportation ministries to review requests for travel for humanitarian or exceptional circumstances.
The development follows the announcement by the UK on Friday that there is some evidence that the British virus variant may be more deadly than the original strain. Unfortunately, the facts in Israel seem to be adding to the evidence, with ten pregnant women now critically ill due to the virus (six of whom have been so far proven to be carrying the UK variant) and a surge of cases diagnosed in children, with some falling seriously ill.
Furthermore, Prof. Ran Blitzer, a member of the Health Ministry’s advisory team on COVID-19, told Kan News on Motzei Shabbos that the British variant is behind over 40% of infections in Israel. “Much more efforts need to be implemented at Ben-Gurion and it should have been done a long time ago,” Blitzer said.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)