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Israeli health official: COVID-19 ‘still here, we need to learn to live with it’

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the Health Ministry, speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem on June 23, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the Health Ministry, speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem on June 23, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services in the Health Ministry, says the COVID-19 pandemic “is still here, we need to learn to live with it.”

Speaking to Channel 12, Dr. Alroy-Preis says the Health Ministry is working to identify the risks in other countries, as even vaccinated travelers will be forced to quarantine upon their return to Israel.

“We have to understand that the tests are not 100 percent [as a measure], we have known this for a while. Tests are not an alternative to quarantine,” she says.

She says vaccinated travelers returning to Israel should avoid meeting people in the first week or so to prevent possible transmission.

She further calls on all those eligible to get vaccinated, and says the Health Ministry wants to give more time for people to do so before recommending more measures.

“We are waiting to see if we need a third shot. We are still looking into this. There are two big ongoing studies at the moment.”

In reference to the Green Pass, a measure that limits attendance at large events to those who are vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19, or who present a valid negative test result — which was approved on Thursday — Dr. Alroy-Preis says the ministry has been “saying for months that we need to minimize transmission.”

“We see the numbers rising,” she says, adding that everyone wants to see the school year open in September without thousands of children among the confirmed cases.

According to a report on Friday, Israel may begin vaccinating children against COVID-19 in schools.

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