Israel on Thursday began a nationwide drill to test its readiness in the event of an outbreak of a new, more lethal Covid-19 variant.
The exercise, war-gamed over three sessions to simulate the passage of time after a potential flare-up, will test the resilience of systems that determine lockdown policies, monitor variants, offer economic support for citizens, enforce quarantines and watch border crossings.
“While the situation of coronavirus in the world is deteriorating, Israel is safe and protected,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. “In order to maintain this, and to safeguard the continuity of normal life, we must continue to closely monitor the situation and prepare for any scenario.”
The number of seriously ill Israelis suffering from Covid-19 dropped from around 700 at the end of August to 149 on Nov. 10, while the number of daily new infections fell from around 10,000 a day to just under 500.
Israel opened its doors to fully vaccinated tourists this month even as experts called for the implementation of tougher safeguards. It’s also preparing to vaccinate 5- to 11-year-olds against Covid-19.
Medical Express: Germany hits record new COVID cases in 24 hours – Bavaria claims ‘State of Disaster’- Germany registered a record 50,196 new COVID-19 infections Thursday, according to health authorities.
It is the first time Germany has exceeded 50,000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, and comes as infections and deaths have soared since mid-October.
Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the rise in infections as “dramatic”.
“The pandemic is returning in a new spectacular fashion,” her spokesperson said, calling on regional authorities to take further steps to quell the outbreak.
Pressure is also building on hospitals, in an outbreak blamed on Germany’s relatively low vaccination rates of just over 67%.
Several of the worst-hit states, including Saxony, Bavaria, and most recently Berlin, have introduced new restrictions aimed at non-vaccinated people, who have been the first to be affected by the rebound in cases.