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New bleak forecast says Israel could see large new COVID wave in March

A new pessimistic model set to be presented to ministers tomorrow anticipates that despite mass vaccinations, a new big wave of coronavirus cases could sweep through the country in March-April, Channel 12 reports.

The model is based on the growing prevalence of the more contagious British variant in the population. Health officials currently believe that 40 percent of new cases in Israel are of the variant, and expect it to be far and away the most common cause of illness within little over a month.

The model assumes that with the country exiting from the current strict lockdown by the end of the month, the highly infectious variant will leave daily cases at around 8,000 deep into March.

People in Tel Aviv, some wearing protective face masks, on January 6, 2021. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

However, the network notes that one unknown factor is the vaccine’s ability to prevent those vaccinated from carrying and transmitting the virus. This, the report says, could have a major mitigating effect on the model’s projections.

At any rate, unnamed officials tell Channel 12 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comments to the effect that the pandemic is largely beaten were “premature” and “irresponsible.”

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