Israel’s Celebration of Defeating Coronavirus Stopping in Its Tracks
Israel’s elation at having defeated the coronavirus appears to have been premature as measures already set aside are being reimposed. The appearance of the delta variant served as a wake-up call that the virus is an evolving threat and still needs to be dealt with. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has reinstated the wearing of masks at indoor gatherings and new quarantine protocols have been instituted for those arriving at Ben-Gurion International Airport, the nation’s primary gateway. Following two weeks of no COVID-19 deaths, at least one person is dying every day. In response to the uptick, all of those returning to Israel are tested upon arrival and remain quarantined until test results are in-hand. The issue of booster shots is now at the center of national debate. Pfizer, which manufactured the vaccine used on Israelis, is suggesting a third shot – a booster – but the government is not convinced that it is called for or that it would be effective in halting the recent spread of the delta variant. Nevertheless, people at high risk due to compromised immune systems are being approved on a case-by-case basis.