90% of the new cases correspond to the strain that originated in India. Israel reinstated the obligation to wear a mask in closed public places and businesses on Friday.
The outbreak of the Delta variant of coronavirus in Israel that forced authorities to backtrack and reinstate mandatory mask use is affecting some adults who had already been vaccinated with two doses.
According to the Minister of Health, Chezy Levy, those who are vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer and come into contact with the Delta variant will have to quarantine. In addition, according to the Haaretz newspaper, he maintained that “although the figures are low, the fact that this reaches vaccinated people means that we are still checking how many vaccinated people have also been infected.”
Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal based on sources from the Naftali Bennett administration, around half of the adults who were infected with the Delta variant in recent days had already received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. In total, the Bennett administration reported, 90% of the new cases are from the strain that originated in India.
Israel reinstated the obligation to wear a mask in closed public places and companies on Friday, following a spike in COVID-19 infections in a country that boasted of having overcome the crisis thanks to its vaccination campaign.
As of June 15, Israelis were not required to wear a mask either indoors or outdoors, with more than half of the country has already received two doses of the vaccine.
But authorities have warned in recent days against the spread of the Delta variant, first detected in India and reputedly more contagious than the rest.
“Given the increase in infections, the Ministry of Health announced that starting at noon today [Friday], the mask will be mandatory in all closed places, except in homes,” he said in a statement.
It is also recommended to Israelis for use in large concentrations outdoors.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had warned on Wednesday that if more than 100 new cases of coronavirus were recorded daily for a week, the mask would be mandatory again.
Since Monday, the health authorities register more than 100 new cases every day. On Thursday, 227 new patients were identified by health authorities, according to the latest available figures.
The numbers are “doubling rapidly,” warned Nachman Ash, coordinator of the fight against the coronavirus, on the public radio Kan on Friday.
“We hope that vaccines protect us from an increase in hospitalizations and serious cases,” he added.
Currently, 48 patients are hospitalized and 24 are considered serious cases, according to the Ministry of Health.
“Inside, I wear the mask all the time,” Esther Hamshalom, a Jerusalem resident, told AFP. Hadar Lavy regrets the decision, considering this garment “ineffective”.
Israel announced Wednesday that it had postponed the reopening of its territory to tourists “due to concerns about the possible spread of the Delta variant.”
At the worst moment of the pandemic in January, some 10,000 cases were recorded a day, before a massive vaccination campaign reduced the number of infections.