By Erin Viner
10,202 new cases were diagnosed yesterday, according to the Health Ministry. The actual rate of new infections is likely to be higher now that many Israelis do home antigen tests rather than at official testing stations.
So far, 4,240,182 Israelis have caught the coronavirus since its outbreak in 2019. 10,908 people have died, including 13 fatalities over the past week.
According to Health Ministry Director General Nachman Ash, Israel is at the start of the outbreak of a new BA.5 subvariant, similar to Omicron from which it developed related to the level of severity and contagion.
Head of the advisory panel of health experts advising the government on the pandemic, Professor Salman Zarka, said that not only is the new variant quickly gaining traction but that it is also more resistant to vaccines than previous strains.
Israeli authorities are now considering the re-imposition of an indoor mask instructive.
The advisory panel convened today for a special session to discuss the new recommendation issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inoculate babies aged six months and older. The specialist team is also considering the possibility of administering a fifth vaccine dose to eligible patients.
6,711,084 Israelis have received one dose of the Pfizer Inc /BioNTech SE or Moderna vaccines, 6,143,251 have been inoculated twice, 4,497,315 received the third dose, and 819,614 have been vaccinated four times.
Even though the Jewish State is experiencing the latest wave of infections, Health Ministry Director General Ash said that at this stage “there is no room for restrictions like shutting down or anything like that,” in reference to three previous nationwide lockdowns aimed at curbing spread of the virus.