Following a meeting of the coronavirus cabinet on new restrictions to fight a mutation of the virus that has been identified in several countries, Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu says that the new strain appears to spread faster but is not necessarily more deadly.
Crucially, he said that information Israel has received from the World Health Organization suggests the mutation is not resistant to the vaccines that are currently in production and being rolled out across the world
Upon hearing of the new strain, “I immediately convened a team of ministers last night to discuss this and convened the cabinet today to make important decisions,” Netanyahu says.
“According to the information we have, this mutation spreads much faster than the normal virus but it is no more deadly, and we have no sign that the vaccine we have will not overcome it,” he says, without expanding.
“We are doing everything we can to prevent the mutation from entering Israel. We made a difficult decision today but reality has forced our hand,” he says of the cabinet decision to bar entry to foreign citizens from the UK, Denmark and South Africa, where the mutation has been identified, and to force Israelis returning from there to enter hotel quarantine.
“Especially now, when the vaccine is in our hands and when we see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is important that we continue to follow the rules. We will continue to make the right decisions for your health and for our country,” Netanyahu says.