"Israel is on the verge of a state of emergency due to a new South African version of the coronavirus. I urge everyone to be fully prepared and involved in the work around the clock," the Minister said.
It is noted that one case of strain B.1.1.529 infection was recorded in Israel, a person who returned to Israel from Malawi. Two other people who have returned from abroad are also suspected of being infected with this variant, these people took the tests and are waiting for the results.
Today, Bennett held an emergency meeting to discuss the mutation and the effects the new strain may have on Israel, and convenes the Cabinet of Ministers to make additional decisions on Saturday.
The government has already marked several African countries, including South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Esvatini, in red, which means that Israelis are not allowed to enter without special permission and that foreigners cannot enter Israel if they have been in these countries for the last 14 days.
In addition, Israel plans to purchase new types of PCR tests that can detect a new strain of Covid-19 in the near future, as well as oral antiviral drugs Pfizer for the treatment of coronavirus, which showed prospects for the treatment of patients in the early stages of the disease.
The government is currently awaiting the results of the strain's research by scientists to decide on the next steps in the fight against the disease.
As it was reported on November 25, British scientists have discovered a new Covid variant that carries an “extremely high number” of mutations. The B.1.1.529 variant has 32 mutations in the spike protein. It may drive further waves of disease by evading the body’s defenses.
The WHO later reported that it will organize a special meeting to discuss a new strain of coronavirus with many mutations, which is a cause for concern and may affect the behavior of the virus.
Today, African scientists reported that infection with a new African strain of Covid-19 may be asymptomatic. Research into the new strain is currently ongoing.