“This vaccine operation is our key to the coronavirus exit plan,” the Israeli leader stated.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
“We are in the midst of a race between the ‘Back to Life’ vaccines operation and the mutation. This vaccine operation is our key to the coronavirus exit plan,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated while seeking to extend the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown at least until Sunday night.
The UK, South African, and Los Angeles variants have been discovered in Israel. The UK variant has been blamed for an increased infection rate, dangerous infections in pregnant women, and a spike in illness among children.
Netanyahu pointed out during remarks to the press on Tuesday night that the UK variant is rapidly spreading, and while a few days ago accounted for 70% of the cases, now accounts for 80% of the new cases, “a powerful and rapid spread.”
He further noted that 97% of those who have died of COVID-19 in Israel are in the 50-and-over age group, and 93% of serious cases are in the 50-and-over age group.
Therefore, “if we take control of the disease in these ages, if we succeed in vaccinating and protecting the people in this group, to a large extent we will be on the way to victory over the Coronavirus,” he asserted, “if there are no surprises such as new mutations that we are not familiar with and which could enter Israel.”
Based on these data, he said the national goal should be to vaccinate at least 90% of the 50+ age group within two weeks. This is an achievable goal because 77% of them are already vaccinated, he said.
The health system has noted a significant slowdown in its campaign to vaccinate the population due to a lack of interest in the public.
“I call on whoever is watching us this evening, if you have not yet been vaccinated, go and be vaccinated. It is important not only for you, it is important for all of us because it is what will enable us to gradually open the economy and it is what will enable us, mainly, to save lives,” Netanyahu declared.
Touching on his demand to extend the lockdown until Sunday night, he said that “every day is decisive. The significance of another three days of lockdown is another approximately 200,000 protected people. That is to say, people who received the second vaccine plus one week. Among these are 120,000 people over 50. This is simply the saving of lives.”
The rate of new daily cases continues to be very high and has not decreased throughout the closure period. Health officials noted that the slight drop they saw in recent days has stooped and even reversed its course.
After almost four weeks of countrywide lockdown, the government is slated to discuss on Wednesday it’s partial lifting.
Over 3,236,800 Israelis have received the first dose of the Pfizer-developed COVID-19 vaccine, some 35% of the population, and over five million doses have been administered in total in the six weeks of the campaign.
The Ministry of Health updated Wednesday that it documented 7,919 new COVID-19 cases over the past day.
Of the 88,503 tests done on Monday, a very high 9.3% returned positive.
A high number of 1,074 patients hospitalized with Corona are in serious condition, 392 of them are on life support.
4,8 88 Israelis have died of the virus since the outbreak in the country almost a year ago.
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