Israel sees highest daily rise in infections

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Israel’s health ministry on Wednesday reported nearly 12,000 new COVID-19 cases, the largest daily uptick the country has seen since the start of the pandemic. 

The figures exceeded a previous record of 11,345 daily cases set in September of last year, The Associated Press reported. 

“There is no control of the omicron wave,” Sharon Alroy-Preis, the Israeli health ministry’s top public health official, told a local news outlet this week, according to the AP.

The heath ministry also noted that of the nearly 60,000 people currently infected with COVID-19 in Israel, only 125 of the cases were deemed serious, Agence France-Presse reported. 

The surge comes as the highly contagious omicron variant has driven a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in countries around the world. However, early studies have indicated that the new variant is more mild and less likely to lead to hospitalization than the delta variant. 

In Israel, nearly 66 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The country has reported 43 deaths resulting from the virus in the past month, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. 

Amid the spike in infections, Israel announced earlier this week that it would partially reverse a travel ban imposed to combat the spread of omicron.

The country is set to allow entry to foreigners with presumed COVID-19 immunity from countries deemed medium risk so long as they can provide proof that they have either been vaccinated or recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

Also this week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that Israel would offer a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot to health care workers and individuals 60 years old and older. 

Tags COVID-19 COVID-19 variants Israel Naftali Bennett Omicron variant
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