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Israel to hold national drill to prepare for future COVID variants

Illustrative. A coronavirus ward at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, at the height of the COVID crisis. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Illustrative. A coronavirus ward at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, at the height of the COVID crisis. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israel will hold a nationwide drill tomorrow to prepare for the possibility of future coronavirus variants, the prime minister’s office says.

“The State of Israel is in an excellent situation, we defeated the fourth wave and we are on the verge of exiting the Delta variant,” says Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “But, at the same time, we are always looking to the future and preparing for the continuation of the campaign.”

Bennett says that the government and health officials “are not packing up our equipment and not shutting down our management bodies and our virus-fighting forces. Rather the opposite — we’re continuing to be prepared and challenge ourselves.”

The drill, to be run out of a situation room in Jerusalem, will be a simulation that deals with coordinating various high-level officials and bodies to prepare for a new COVID strain, nicknamed the “Omega” strain for the purposes of the drill.

The gathered officials will deal with a wide range of scenarios and work to coordinate and make decisions related to the restriction of movement, quarantine, education, air travel and more.

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