Although all three cases of the “New York” covid variant were discovered in a single family, its response to vaccinations is unknown and the frequency of Israeli travel to the US raises questions over the cabinet’s discussion on Tuesday. They are discussing a proposal to open Ben Gurion airport wide for 3,000 Israelis to land per day from overseas “to exercise their right to vote” in the March 23 election. Public Health Director Dr. Sharon Alray-Preis found this proposal appalling and warned it could imperil all the achievements gained by the mass vaccination project.
She also revealed that the New York strain was not the only new menace around. A still unnamed variant had turned up in the UK, the US, Nigeria and Jordan.
The ministers are confronted with the problem of containing the import of coronavirus and its new strains, so long as most returning Israelis refuse to go into quarantine at the state-run hotels and promise to observe isolation at homed. From Monday, they are being fitted with electronic bracelets attached to a cellphone to monitor their movements.