Israel Braces for 3rd Virus Lockdown
While the United Kingdom on Wednesday shocked the world by announcing it would begin vaccinating its people next week, Israel seems headed in the opposite direction, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and coronavirus “czar” Nachman Ash admitted rising infections were an extremely worrying trend. “We’re in a state of emergency,” Ash said Tuesday, noting that a third national lockdown was a definite possibility. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health in the Health Ministry, added that Israel had already entered the third wave of the pandemic. On Tuesday, the infection rate dropped just below 2% for the first time all week, after topping out at 3.4% over the weekend. The number of infected patients in serious condition has remained stagnant, however, at close to 270 every day. Earlier Tuesday, Netanyahu addressed the situation and urged Israelis to refrain from gathering unnecessarily. “We’re definitely not out of the woods and we are considering all options, including some form of closure,” he admitted.