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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Coronavirus: Israel registers 1,400 new cases, cabinet to meet Thursday

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The coronavirus cabinet is going to meet on Thursday afternoon, as the number of new cases in Israel continues to climb.

Among the topics the ministers are expected to discuss are the return of green pass outline and the situation at the airport, in order to counter what many experts by now call the fourth wave.

The date and time for the meeting was reportedly postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday and finally Thursday.

“We will go when they call us,” Health Ministry’s Director General Prof. Nachman Ash said Wednesday morning in an interview to Ynet in the morning.

According to Israeli media, the reason why organizing the meeting took longer than expected were disagreements among the ministers about where the country should go next.

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if(window.location.pathname.indexOf(“656089”) != -1){document.getElementsByClassName(“divConnatix”)[0].style.display =”none”;}else if(window.location.pathname.indexOf(“https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/”) != -1){ document.getElementsByClassName(“divConnatix”)[0].style.display =”none”; var script = document.createElement(‘script’); script.src = ‘https://player.anyclip.com/anyclip-widget/lre-widget/prod/v1/src/lre.js’; script.setAttribute(‘pubname’,’jpostcom’); script.setAttribute(‘widgetname’,’0011r00001lcD1i_12258′); document.getElementsByClassName(‘divAnyClip’)[0].appendChild(script);}During the meeting last week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz asked their colleagues to approve the return of the green pass for all indoors gatherings with over 100 participants – restricting access to them only to individuals vaccinated, recovered or equipped with a negative tests performed in the previous 72 hours. Ultimately, their request was rejected and the cabinet approved similar requirements only for weddings and events where food is served.

In light of the spike in cases – with 1,400 cases identified on Tuesday – the full green pass is expected to be approved this time, but some differences remain, while Bennett and Horowitz have been meeting with representatives of the industries to which the green pass is expected to apply in order to receive their input on how to minimize any negative impact on businesses.

One of the question marks about the outline is whether the tests will be funded by the state or by the individual citizen, especially in the case of children who are too young to be vaccinated.

Horowitz addressed the issue speaking to the Knesset plenum and said that topic is still being examined.

On the other hand, tests for children to monitor the situations in schools will be covered by the country.

The cabinet will also cover the situation at Ben Gurion.

Some 10% of the new cases registered every day are people who returned from abroad, in spite of the fact that everyone is required to present a negative PCR test before boarding (in addition to the one that all travelers must take upon their arrival in Israel before leaving Ben-Gurion).

Ash noted that they are working on two proposals, either to demand everyone from fly back to enter isolation or to expand the list of countries that are banned or that require also vaccinated and recovered individuals to enter isolation – which is already going to be expanded on Friday.

Israel had not registered over 1,400 cases since March and the reproduction rate, or R – which measures how many people each virus carrier infects on average – has been steadily over 1 for the past few weeks, indicating that the outbreak continues to expand.

In addition, some twenty people have succumbed to the virus in July. While the number is still only a fraction of the deaths registered at the peak of the pandemic in January, when dozens of people sometimes died of COVID in a single day – the figure is more than double the victims recorded in June.

On the other hand, the increase in serious morbidity has remained limited.

If around mid-June there were some 20 patients in serious conditions with less than 200 active cases in the whole country, currently the number stands at 63 with some 9,000 active cases. The figure even marks a slight increase compared to the 62 such patients registered 24 hours before, but a slight decrease compared to the peak of the fourth wave of 66 serious patients registered on Sunday.

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