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Arrival of Lambda variant would force lockdown, Health Ministry warns

10 32 26

The Health Ministry on Monday warned that new coronavirus variants from abroad could force Israel into a lockdown that the government is working hard to avoid, with the Lambda variant posing a particularly pressing threat.

During a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee to approve new measures for travel from abroad, a top ministry official warned of the variant that has rampaged across South America and crossed into the US.

“If it arrives in Israel we will go into the lockdown that we are so much trying to avoid,” Asher Salmon, director of the International Relations Department at the Health Ministry, told the committee.

Salmon said that the vaccine Israel has been using as part of its national inoculation program is less effective against the variant than against its predecessors.

After bringing down virus cases to little more than a dozen a day in June, Israel has seen a resurgence of the virus, blamed on the Delta variant brought into the country by arrivals who did not quarantine properly.

Ilana Gans, who specializes in public health at the ministry, said that the Delta variant accounts for 97% of the active cases in Israel but that other, more contagious variants would supplant it.

“If such a variant enters Israel, even if we manage to gain control of the current wave, it will put us into an........

© The Times of Israel

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