Jerusalem, Jan 5 (EFE).- Israel’s daily coronavirus cases on Wednesday reached an all-time high since the start of the pandemic amid a surge in infections fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
The ministry of health recorded 11,938 infections in the past 24 hours, beating by 593 the previous highest number that was registered on September 2 when Israel was in the middle of the Delta-triggered fourth wave of the pandemic.
In efforts to curb the spread of the Omicron, Israel began delivering a fourth vaccine dose to those over the age of 60 and medical personnel.
Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that according to a study conducted by Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, the fourth dose increases the Covid-19 antibodies fivefold after a week.
Israel warned of the rapid spread of the virus and had its borders closed since November. However, it unveiled its plans on Monday to reopen borders to allow tourists fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter the country as of January 9.
The new entry rules exclude tourists traveling from countries classified as high risk such as Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom. Israeli citizens will need a special permit to return to their homeland from these areas.
The health ministry also agreed to reduce the quarantine period for those returning from countries classified as moderate risk until they show a negative result of the mandatory test carried out at Ben Gurion Airport before entering the country.
Nevertheless, Israel last week reintroduced mandatory use of face masks outdoors, limited public gatherings to 50 people and required a green pass for events with 100 people or more.
Some six million of Israel’s 9.4 million people are fully vaccinated, with 4.2 million inoculated with the third booster shot.EFE