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New health restrictions came into effect on Wednesday in Israel, as the country recorded its highest number of infections since January, despite a large coronavirus vaccination campaign.
New health restrictions came into force on Wednesday August 18 in Israel, the country which recorded its highest number of contaminations since January despite a large coronavirus vaccination campaign.
The Jewish state has reinstated the requirement to show a vaccination certificate or negative PCR test to visit restaurants, hotels, museums and libraries and attend cultural and sporting events.
This measure also applies to places of worship hosting more than 50 worshipers, the health ministry said in a statement, adding that the capacity in stores and shopping centers was now limited to one person per seven square meters. .
The authorities had already put in place in July certain measures lifted in June, such as the obligation to wear a mask in closed public places and offices, against the backdrop of an increase in the number of patients.
As of Tuesday, more than 8,700 new cases were identified by health authorities, the highest figure since January. In June, only a few daily cases were detected.
Third dose of vaccine
Israel was one of the first countries to launch, in mid-December, a vast vaccination campaign thanks to an agreement with the Pfizer laboratory which had quickly delivered millions of paid doses in exchange for data on the drug. effectiveness of the vaccine on its population.
This campaign had made it possible to drastically reduce infections, but in recent weeks contaminations have increased again with the spread of the Delta variant in unvaccinated adults but also in people vaccinated more than six months ago.
The Hebrew state last week started giving a third dose of the vaccine to people aged 50 and over, despite the World Health Organization’s call for a moratorium on these booster doses in order to leave more vaccines available for poor countries, where immunization rates remain low.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett replied that the administration of these doses in Israel, a country of nine million inhabitants, was not going to affect global stocks and rather allow the effectiveness of the third dose to be tested.
“The future of the country”
Naftali Bennett also affirmed, Wednesday during a televised press conference, wanting to avoid a new confinement in September, month during which will be celebrated several Jewish holidays, because “that would destroy the future of the country”.
He also called on the Israelis to continue with the vaccination claiming that the country could “beat the delta”. “It’s close at hand,” he said. “Vaccination works, it’s factual and scientific, it saves lives,” said the Israeli Prime Minister.
In total, more than 959,000 people have been infected in Israel, of which nearly 6,700 have died. More than 5.4 million people received two doses of the vaccine, 58% of the population, and some 1.1 million received a third dose.
On the Palestinian side, the authorities have also identified an upsurge in contamination, the number of new daily patients having multiplied by seven since the 1er August, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
Only 432,000 Palestinians received two doses of the vaccine, out of the estimated five million living in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza enclave.
Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra lamented that only 11% of those eligible for the vaccine were vaccinated, adding that “the Gaza Strip has entered a third epidemic wave”.