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Daily Briefing Aug 22 – Israel races to beat COVID comeback before Rosh Hashanah

Health and science correspondent Nathan Jeffay makes sense of current coronavirus stats; Paralympics reporter Amy Spiro guides us on which Israeli athletes to watch in Tokyo Games

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.

Today’s panel includes health and science correspondent Nathan Jeffay and Paralympics 2021 reporter Amy Spiro, along with host Jessica Steinberg.

Jeffay helps make sense of the race taking place between soaring COVID-19 infections and the vaccination drive. Israelis are wondering how it will all pan out, particularly ahead of the September 1 start of the school year and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starting September 6.

Jeffay also discusses the coronavirus statistics inundating the news, which can be confusing and misleading. He breaks down the numbers, helping us understand what the vaccines and boosters are doing in the fight against COVID-19.

Ahead of the Tuesday start of the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo, Spiro previews the Israeli athletes at the Games, letting us know who to watch. There’s a large and diverse Israeli delegation at the Paralympics, which Spiro investigates in a recent piece (see below).

Finally, Jeffay gives us a brief look into his upcoming feature on coronavirus czar Salman Zarka, the Druze doctor who’s doing what he can to bring the pandemic under control.

Discussed articles include:

Health chief says Israel may limit family gatherings on Rosh Hashanah

Rapid virus test stations boosted amid complaints of slow service

Rowing, shooting, wheelchair tennis: Israel sets its sights on the Paralympics

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