Digital Desk, Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the country is battling the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is rapidly spreading due to the new Omicron variant V. The cabinet is considering new restrictions to prevent further spread of the virus. According to the report of Xinhua news agency, the fifth wave has started. New restrictions are expected to be issued in the next few days, Bennett said in a televised press conference.
The Prime Minister urged people to work from home, if possible, and called upon citizens to vaccinate, especially for children. He said that do not be careless with children. The immunization rate of children in rural areas is as low as 3-5 percent. Israel on Sunday banned travel to 10 more countries to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. The ban will take effect from Wednesday and includes the US, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Morocco and Belgium.
All Israelis returning from banned countries, including those who have been vaccinated and recovered, will have to be in quarantine for at least seven days. Israel has largely closed its international borders in the wake of the first reports of the Omicron variant. The current list of red countries already includes most African countries, eight European countries and the United Arab Emirates. Also on Sunday, the Ministry of Health announced 40 more Omicron cases, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Israel to 175.
To avoid imposing a lockdown, the government is focusing on vaccination campaigns and the Green Pass scheme, which allows only fully vaccinated people to enter many public places. Israel has launched a massive vaccination campaign, with more than 4.1 million of the country’s 9.3 million people receiving a third booster shot. Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, the country has recorded a total of 1,355,491 COVID cases and 8,232 deaths.
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