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Minister: Figures show Israel is heading toward ‘herd immunity’

Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej arrives at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, June 14, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej arrives at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, June 14, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej says that the latest figures show Israel is heading toward “herd immunity.”

“According to the figures we have, 2-4 million people in the next three weeks are expected to test positive,” Frej tells Ynet. “This is the direction. Why should we bury our heads in the ground like an ostrich? The pandemic is reaching everyone.”

Frej admits that the government “is not able to do all the tests needed, we don’t have enough PCR tests, we have a problem with labs.” But he defends the government, saying it is making decisions “to do the maximum to protect public health” with vaccines and antiviral medications.

The minister says a lockdown will do more damage than good, and calls for adherence to the current guidelines: “The behavior of the public is more important than anything we do… everyone’s behavior is what will determine our direction.”

Yesterday, 37,887 Israelis tested positive via PCR or antigen tests, with more than 185,000 active cases. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said earlier in the week that 2-4 million Israelis are likely to be infected in the current Omicron-fueled wave.

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