Image Credit: @naftalibennett/Twitter
Israel, which had appeared to put the coronavirus pandemic behind it a few months ago after a world-leading vaccine drive, is now reeling under the highly contagious virus. According to a report published by Business Insider, nearly one in every 150 people in Israel has the virus. The rate of infection has also doubled within two weeks, with 7,500 fresh infections reported in the last 2 hours. As the country struggles with mounting new coronavirus infections, the government advanced a raft of new restrictions, including sweeping implementation of a digital vaccine passport and tighter restrictions on mass gatherings.
Recently, the Cabinet gave its approval for tighter measures — including limitations on people gathering indoors and restricting entry to venues and restaurants to "Green Pass" holders. As the virus has become dominant despite the high vaccination rate, scientists have now investigated how the vaccine holds up over time. The findings have not been encouraging, setting off a wave of booster panic around the world. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the government would be "giving a booster" to the country’s healthcare system as new coronavirus cases continue a precipitous climb. He said Israel had to prepare for a situation of mass hospitalisations and was allocated 2.5 billion shekels ($774 million) to help boost capacity at hospitals nationwide.
On August 20, when the Prime Minister took the third jab (booster) of the deadly virus, he took to the microblogging site and said, "If we go out to get the third vaccine- We can avoid a fourth locksmith. Israel is the only country in the world that provides its citizens with the third complementary vaccine, and now the whole world is following us. I ordered hundreds of more vaccine complexes to be opened, as we had lowered the immunization age to 40 and older." According to the health ministry data, over 58 per cent of the country’s 9.3 million citizens have received two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. It is worth mentioning that the government had largely lifted coronavirus restrictions by May following its vaccine drive, but with new infections on the rise, has reinstated limitations on assemblies and indoor mask mandates.