With infection rates on the rise yet again, the new ‘stealth’ Omicron variant has been detected among two individuals in the country.
Keeping the indoor mask mandate intact as a response to a climb in cases worldwide, the Israeli government is keeping a watchful eye on the new COVID strain that is a combination of the original Omicron and the “stealth” BA.2 variant of the Omicron.
“The infection rate has begun to rise in the past week,” coronavirus czar Prof. Salman Zarka said on Tuesday. Some health officials are wary of a new wave but others say that Israel is not currently at risk of a sixth COVID wave, despite the increase in infection rate and the possibility that Purim will contribute to an even further rise in infections.
Health Ministry officials believe that the high percentage of recovered and vaccinated Israelis provides a high level of infection and will prevent a widespread outbreak. Approximately half of Israel’s population has already contracted COVID in recent months and there are currently no new variants that will infect those who have already recovered.
As of Wednesday evening, there were 40,051 active COVID cases in the country, with 6,332 new cases confirmed on Tuesday. Among the active cases, 709 are hospitalized, with 308 in serious condition, and 142 on ventilators.