Israelis are tested for coronavirus at reopened drive-through site in Petah Tikva on Tuesday

Public health chief: COVID surge now due to community spread, quarantine violations

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis tells MKs that although the number of coronavirus cases is on the rise in Israel, there has been a downturn in seriously ill patients being treated in hospital; four communities moved into high-infection 'red' classification for first time in weeks

Nina Fox , Yaron Druckman |
Published: 06.29.21, 14:58
Israel is experiencing outbreaks of coronavirus all over the country, the head of public health Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis told MKs on Tuesday, attributing it to community spread and quarantine violations.
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  • "Initially we found infections in people who returned from foreign travel, but now we are seeing more newly confirmed cases that are the result of community spread and people violating quarantine," Alroy-Preis told the members of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.
    But she said that the infection rate in Israel is on the rise, hospitals are treating fewer cases of COVID-19 than in May.
    The Health Ministry said on Tuesday that 283 people were confirmed to have the virus the day before, while 45 people were being treated for COVID in hospitals - down from 56 three weeks ago.
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    תורים במתחם בדיקות קורונה בפתח תקווה
    תורים במתחם בדיקות קורונה בפתח תקווה
    Israelis are tested for coronavirus at reopened drive-through site in Petah Tikva on Tuesday
    (Photo: Nadav Abas)
    According to the ministry, 21 people were being treated for serious complications of the virus, down from 31 seriously ill patients in the first week of June; 14 people were on ventilators, down from 18 three weeks ago.
    On Tuesday, Israel saw four communities - Kfar Saba, Binyamina, Kochav Yair and the West Bank settlement of Tzufim - move into the high-infection "red" classification for the first time in weeks.
    Modi'in and Herzliya were moved into the "orange" category and Ramle and Pardes Hanna were designated as "yellow."
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    שרון אלרעי פרייס
    שרון אלרעי פרייס
    Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis discusses Israel's COVID response at the Knesset on Tuesday
    (Photo: Knesset Channel)
    "There are 20 educational institutions already closed due to outbreaks of COVID-19," Alroy-Preis said.
    She also warned that Israel's successful vaccination drive did not mean that the crisis was over in the country.
    "The situation is fluctuating and there is still a risk to public health from the worldwide pandemic," Alroy-Preis said.
    She also said that 35% of eligible Israelis had still not received their coronavirus vaccines. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday visited a vaccination site in the central city of Holon, where he urged Israeli parents to vaccinate their children.
    Meanwhile, Tel Aviv municipality on Tuesday reopened a testing site in the central Rabin Square, in coordination with the IDF coronavirus response unit.
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    אוהל הבדיקות בכיכר רבין מוקם מחדש
    אוהל הבדיקות בכיכר רבין מוקם מחדש
    Tel Aviv municipal workers build tents to house a testing site for coronavirus late Monday night
    (Photo: Hadar Yoavian)
    Bennett said Tuesday that the government will move to ban all travel to "red" countries where coronavirus infection rates are very high.
    The prime minister also set a goal of 30,000 vaccines to be administered per day to teens aged 12 to 15 or adults who have not yet received their jabs.
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    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט במתחם חיסונים בחולון
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט במתחם חיסונים בחולון
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visits a vaccination site in Holon on Tuesday
    (Photo: GPO)
    The State of Israel is in a race against time," Bennett said in Holon, where he was joined by Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and new Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash.
    "We have enough vaccines for everyone, but they are set to expire by the end of July, therefore we have ten days to finish the first mandatory inoculations."

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