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Health official warns cabinet of ‘catastrophe’ if border policies too lenient, variants let in country

Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of the Health Ministry’s public health service division urges the cabinet to exercise extreme caution in reopening Israel’s borders as there are multiple variants of the coronavirus that could lead to a “catastrophe” if they enter en masse.

“We are seeing a lot of variants out there, not just from the one from New York,” she says referencing the US variant that was identified in three Israeli arrivals this week.

“There is also a variant that’s coming in from the Netherlands, which we are testing,” she says.

“We must make sure that the people who enter the country are not only under police enforcement (to prevent quarantine violations), but we also must make sure that we don’t find ourselves in catastrophe a month from now in which the public will ask how we allowed all these variants to come into the country.

“In such a scenario, the vaccines may go to waste,” she adds.

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