JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Israel in fifth COVID wave, mulls adding U.S. to Omicron 'red' list

Israel in fifth COVID wave, mulls adding U.S. to Omicron 'red' list

Monday, December 20, 2021, 09:21 GMT+7
Israel in fifth COVID wave, mulls adding U.S. to Omicron 'red' list
Shoppers explore the Carmel Market as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions ease in Tel Aviv, Israel October 14, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Israel is in the midst of a fifth COVID-19 wave due to the Omicron variant, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday, urging citizens to step up vaccination and to take precautions such as working from home.

In a televised address, Bennett said Israel had bought some time by moving fast to limit travel when Omicron was first detected last month, but that this was now waning. He predicted a surge of sicknesses within a few weeks.

Earlier on Sunday, a Health Ministry advisory committee recommended that Israel add the United States to the list of "red" countries to which its citizens cannot fly without special permission. Bennett did not mention this measure in his speech.

Israel has logged 134 confirmed Omicron cases and another 307 suspected cases, the Health Ministry said. Of these, 167 were symptomatic, it said.

"The time we bought is running out," Bennett said. "The numbers are still not high but it's a very contagious variant, doubling itself every two-three days, as we see around the world. It's possible to say that the fifth wave has begun."

In a rapid first response to Omicron, which was first detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong, Israel banned the entry of foreigners on Nov. 25 and has imposed three- to 14-day quarantine orders for Israelis returning from abroad.

But Bennett has also come under domestic criticism for a foreign vacation his wife and children took after he urged Israelis to avoid such travel.

Reuters

More

Read more

Japan panel to approve widening of COVID curbs

A Japanese advisory panel is set to approve the expansion of tougher measures against COVID-19 to 18 additional regions on Tuesday, putting more than 70% of the country under restrictions

1 day ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news