As of Monday, 125 new cases had been identified, a figure which rose to 146 for the day of Wednesday. At the beginning of June, only 0 to 30 daily cases were recorded.
Israel thought it was definitely out of the woods. From the start of the health crisis linked to Covid-19, the country immediately took matters into its own hands, imposing several strict confinements on its population and offering an effective and rapid vaccination schedule.
To date, more than 5 million inhabitants of Israel (out of 9 million) are fully vaccinated, and the images of the early reopening of terraces and public places had been shared several weeks ago, well before the measures of relief not taken in other countries.
• Towards a “new wave”
However, the Delta variant of the coronavirus, previously known as the Indian variant, could be on the verge of reshuffling Israeli strategy entirely. As reported Point in a report made on the spot, the districts of three cities of the country, Binyamina, Modiin and Netanya were recently transformed into clusters.
Immediately, the new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, warned of the risk of a “new wave”. As of Monday, 125 new cases had been identified, a figure which rose to 146 for the day of Wednesday. At the beginning of June, only 0 to 30 daily cases were recorded.
“We have decided to react as if we are facing a new wave” of the virus, said Naftali Bennett, visiting Tel Aviv International Airport. “Our goal is to put an end to it, to take a bucket of water and pour it on the fire while it is still limited.”
More than 1,000 people were forced into quarantine in Binyamina (north of Tel Aviv) after travelers returned from Cyprus, the prime minister added during a press briefing, calling for avoiding travel to the foreign. According to authorities, an additional screening center will be set up at Ben Gurion Airport to ensure that all travelers perform a PCR test on arrival.
• The return of the mask
But the executive would be prepared to go even more laws. In recent hours, the Israeli press has echoed discussions around the Prime Minister where the ministers agreed on one point during these discussions: the obligation to wear a mask indoors will be imposed again, and nationally, if the country observes an average of at least one hundred new infections per day for a week.
“I ask you solemnly: if you do not need to take the plane abroad, do not do it”, for his part added the successor of Benyamin Netanyaou.
Before deciding on the possible return of the obligation to wear a mask indoors, the government has in any case chosen to reinstate its “Coronavirus Cabinet”, a structure emanating from the executive and responsible for piloting the campaign against the scourge.
• No reopening to tourism
This Wednesday, the country had to postpone the reopening of its territory to tourists and prepare for new measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
“Due to concerns about the possible spread of the Delta variant, the government has postponed the entry of tourists for a month, until August 1,” Israel’s tourism ministry said.
Some vaccinated tourists, traveling in small groups and coming from certain countries only, will nevertheless be allowed to enter Israel but will have to undergo two PCR tests – one carried out 72 hours before departure and one on arrival – as well as a serological test. , told AFP a spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism.
• Example to follow?
For the moment, the figures are not impressive but remain significant of a return of the disease. Asked by The Parisian, Professor Michael Edelstein, professor of public health at the University of Bar Ilan, goes in this direction and warns of possible rebounds.
“We must put things in perspective: a hundred cases per day is not huge. But we expect a continuation of this rise,” he explains.
In fact, Israel had insisted on vaccinations of the most fragile people, then adults, leaving adolescents last in their strategy. A trend which is in the process of being reversed since much firmer communications from the government are expected.
“Israel is for us a very interesting laboratory and we will have among young people, for a few more months, significant risks of resurgence”, concludes with the daily Ile-de-France the Swiss epidemiologist Antoine Flahault.