Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a meeting with senior health officials on Wednesday in the wake of a recent spike of COVID cases in Israel.
“Unfortunately, it seems we’re beginning a new COVID wave in Israel, the BA.5 wave,” coronavirus czar Prof. Salman Zarka said at a medical conference earlier on Wednesday.
Zarka added that health officials are considering recommending a fifth vaccine dose to high-risk population groups as it’s believed that many Israelis’ immunity has decreased due to the amount of time since they were vaccinated.
A decision was made at the meeting by Bennett not to change existing health policies other than increasing the protection of the elderly population, including recommending that the elderly and other high-risk populations wear masks indoors.
Israelis are no longer required to wear masks indoors except at hospitals and health centers.
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, who himself is currently positive for COVID along with several other politicians, suggested [via teleconference] not to define the current spike in cases as a “sixth wave” but rather to explain that COVID is a disease with increases and increases and that “we need to learn to live with it.”
A total of 3,731 new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Tuesday, the highest number since April. The number of serious cases has also risen, to 103 seriously ill COVID patients.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)