world-news

Israel PM warns of coming Covid-19 ‘storm’

Israel PM warns of coming Covid-19 ‘storm’

Israel’s prime minister is warning that the country will soon see tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases a day. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. He said that despite rolling out more than 4.2 million coronavirus booster shots to the country’s population of 9.3 million since July, “the storm is coming to us these very days”. Daily cases in Israel have risen in the past two weeks from around 700 to the more than 4,000 reported on Sunday. “These are numbers that the world has not known, and that we also haven’t known,” Bennett said. He said that the government’s aim is “to allow the economy to function as much as possible, while protecting the most vulnerable among us.” Israel has recorded at least 8,244 deaths from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. A surge of Omicron infections could see Israel reaching herd immunity, the country’s top health official said on Sunday. Until late December, Israel managed to stave off Omicron to some degree but with infection rates now gaining pace, daily cases are expected to reach record highs in the coming three weeks. This could result in herd immunity, said director-general of the health ministry, Nachman Ash. “The cost will be a great many infections,” Ash told 103FM Radio. “The numbers will have to be very high in order to reach herd immunity. This is possible but we don’t want to reach it by means of infections, we want it to happen as a result of many people vaccinating,” he said. Meanwhile, secondary school students in England will be required to wear face masks when they return to classes after the Christmas holidays. This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. End of dialog window. This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday the move was an attempt to “minimise disruption” in schools as Omicron variant drives infections in the UK to record levels. Students and teachers are set to return to classrooms on Tuesday after more than two weeks off. The government has urged schools and other public sector workplaces to be prepared for staff absences as Covid sickens more people or forces them to isolate. Two-thirds of the 25 workers at a scientific outpost in Antarctica have contracted Covid-19, the BBC reported. The cases are so far mild, and the infected have opted not to leave the Princess Elisabeth Polar Station. “While it has been an inconvenience to have to quarantine certain members of the staff who caught the virus, it hasn’t significantly affected our work,” Joseph Cheek, a project manager for Belgium-led outpost, told the BBC..

world-news 2022-01-03 hindustantimes