Expert panel pushes to end ‘red countries’ list with Omicron inflation

Expert panel pushes to end 'red countries' list with Omicron inflation

A panel of experts advising the government on its response to COVID-19 on Sunday called for a list of countries to which Israelis are not allowed to travel, as variant Omicron quickly became the dominant strain in the country.

Experts say Omicron’s infection will surpass deltas in most parts of the world within two weeks, eliminating the list of so-called “red” countries with high infection rates.

In late November, Israel closed its borders to foreigners in an attempt to block the alternative, and continued to expand its list of “red” countries.

Israel considered nearly 70 countries to be very dangerous, including the United States, Turkey, and most of Europe and Africa.

The Health Ministry said on Saturday that the vast majority of the 1,118 confirmed Omicron infections in Israel were among travelers returning from abroad.

Travel of Israeli citizens to high-risk countries is prohibited unless they obtain special permission from the Exemption Committee.

An Israeli receives a vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus at a vaccine center in the Malsha Mall in Jerusalem, December 23, 2021 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Experts also recommended re-examining current quarantine requirements for vaccinated people exposed to Omicron to motivate Israelis to get the vaccine.

But they said there is a dilemma regarding the level of risk in exempting vaccinated individuals from quarantine rules, as they can still infect others.

According to the Walla news site, experts tend to exempt vaccinators from quarantine rules, as they are still less likely to infect others than vaccinators.

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While early studies suggest that Omicron may not produce symptoms And dangerously the type of delta less transmissible, experts in Israel say, because of the rate of spread of the virus in the country, The huge number of cases It will likely continue to put pressure on hospitals.

The government has made vaccination its central strategy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Vaccines are currently available to all people in Israel over the age of five.

According to Health Ministry figures on Sunday, 6,502,720 of Israel’s population of about 9.5 million people received at least one injection of the vaccine, of whom 5,876,953 received two doses and 4,191,735 also received a third dose. or a booster dose.

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