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August 31, 2021 @ 08:56 +03:00
Israeli lawmakers are keen to avoid another lockdown after overseeing one of the world’s fastest vaccination drives. New daily coronavirus infections, however, have just climbed to record levels. While many nations were grappling with the rapid spread of the highly transmissible delta variant, Covid-19 transmission in Israel declined sharply as the country vaccinated more than half of its population in around two months.
The country had one of the fastest vaccination rollout programs in the world, and by early June many of its coronavirus restrictions were lifted as new cases fell dramatically. But just days later, masks were reimposed as new infection numbers began to creep upward. Around 63% of the Israeli population has been fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by Our World in Data.
Covid-19 cases in Israel have been rising sharply since July despite the high vaccination rate. New daily cases in the country reached an all-time high of 12,113 on August 24, surpassing the January peak of 11,934. Just months ago, new cases had fallen to double-digits, and there were some days in May and June where no new infections were recorded. There were 992 new cases of Covid-19 per million people in Israel as of Monday. By comparison, the U.S. recorded 446 new cases per million people, Our World in Data’s statistics show.
Israeli lawmakers are keen to avoid the reintroduction of draconian measures and are urging people eligible for any dose of the vaccine to get their shot. The reintroduction of some Covid mitigation policies sparked protests in Tel Aviv earlier this month. “I don’t want to impose a lockdown and I will avoid a lockdown at all costs,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz told Israel’s Channel 12 TV at the time. “Everything is open — but we need masks and we need vaccines.”
Israel doubles down on booster shots as daily Covid cases set new record, CNBC, Aug 31