Bennett cautiously declarers victory over 4th COVID-19 wave in Israel

October 4, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The Corona Cabinet, the ministerial committee on fighting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, met on Sunday night and lauded their supposed success in fighting the virus in Israel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.           Photo: Koby Gideon (GPO)

Bennett’s office stated that “the government strategy, according to which the economy is staying open and the government is taking a series of actions in order to forestall imposing a lockdown and sweeping restrictions, is working, hence the success in managing the fourth wave.”

“Friends, the news is good. We have started to block the Delta strain,” declared Bennett.

Over 1,300 Israelis have died of the virus since Bennett became prime minister.

The game-changer in Israel vis-à-vis COVID-19 was the third Pfizer-developed booster shot. The vaccines were purchased by the Netanyahu government, and Bennett’s government was slow in administering them. Some 3,472,000 Israelis have received the third COVID-19 booster.

Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz left the meeting to meet with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, the Alternate Prime Minister, joined the meeting via Zoom, but his camera was reportedly off most of the meeting, and it is unclear if he was actually present. Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman was not present at all.

The Corona Cabinet “emphasized that the directives must continue to be strictly upheld with due caution in order to maintain the existing situation.”

Ministry of Health officials recommended removing some of the restrictions but Bennett chose not to put their proposal to a vote, and the Corona Cabinet decided to exclude only libraries and museums from the restrictions so classrooms can visit.

Professional officials presented the Cabinet with “a focused picture of the coronavirus situation in Israel with emphasis on morbidity in the Arab sector and the scope of vaccinations there.”

The vast majority of Red Cities with high infection rates are Arab, and about 40% of patients are from the Arab sector, representing twice their number in the general population. The vaccination rate in the Arab sector is comparably low.

Bennett stated that “the next and most urgent task in my view is to finish as quickly as possible with the large-scale quarantines at schools. Children need to be in school not on Zoom or in quarantines that are not urgent. Parents need to be able to go to work and families need stability.”

According to Health Ministry data, a decreasing 2.76% of the tests done Sunday returned positive. After counting some 700 patients hospitalized in serious condition for several weeks, the number on Sunday dropped to 569.

A total of 7,821 Israelis have died of COVID-19 since the outbreak in the country.

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