Israel Braces for Renewed Outbreak
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday announced he was reassembling the nation’s coronavirus task force and would consider enacting further emergency measures after health officials warned that a renewed outbreak of infections, particularly of the new delta variant, was possible. In a special news presser held at Ben-Gurion International Airport following a tour of the place, Bennett, barely a week in office, cautioned that while “there is no need to panic, this thing must be extinguished. It’s up to us, to how we behave. We do not want to return to sweeping nationwide shutdowns.” On Tuesday, 0.3% percent of all tests administered in Israel returned positive, the second day in a row in which over 100 new cases were diagnosed after more than two months during which that figure remained in the single or low double digits. Some 360 Israelis currently are hospitalized with the virus, with 24 in serious condition. Still, over 60% of the country has been vaccinated for COVID-19, and experts believe the nation is well-positioned to withstand the coming spike.