Israel ‘on verge of emergency’ over B.1.1.529 Covid variant – PM — Analysis

The Israeli government will act “fast and strong” in its fight against the new Covid variant, as the country is now “on the verge of an emergency,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has stated.

European countries impose restrictions over ‘worst-ever’ Covid-19 strain

Bennett met in an emergency session on Friday to review the measures required after the discovery of the B.1.1.529 strain in Israel. Quoted by the Jerusalem Post, the prime minister said Israel was “On the brink of an emergency” and asked citizens “To be ready and prepared for any work situation..”

Earlier on Friday, Bennett posted a series of tweets saying “The new version [was]Highly contagious, at a faster rate than Delta” while noting that full information was not yet available.

Claiming that taking “Fast and powerful” actions remained the government’s policy, he called on all unvaccinated people, both adults and children, to get inoculated.

The prime minister also noted that, though a few weeks ago the national Omega exercise for a new deadly variant scenario may have “A little detached,” it had prepared the country for the current situation, with the first registered case of a new variant having been brought to Israel from Malawi and two other cases under review.

Along with several other countries, Israel has announced urgent measures to tackle the new variant, including designating South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Eswatini as “Red countries,” and applying travel restrictions.

Due to its high level of mutation, which is most likely to make it less vaccine-resistant than the other strains, serious concerns have been raised by the World Health Organization.

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