Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pledged on Sunday 10 billion shekels (3 billion dollars) to fight future COVID waves in the country, as key metrics suggest the pandemic continues to shrink.
"We're establishing an economic and medical safety net of 10 billion shekels for future coronavirus waves," Bennett said prior to a cabinet meeting on Sunday.
"We're exiting the delta wave these days," Bennett added as Health Ministry figures keep suggesting that the pandemic is contracting. Israel recorded on Sunday 324 new coronavirus cases, 65 percent of which were unvaccinated.
Bennett also added that Israeli should not expect Green Pass, which grants access to public spaces, to be annulled as "it keeps us safe and allowing to keep Israeli open."
In addition, 307 serious cases were logged on Sunday. This marks a slight increase, Israel registered 302 on the previous day. Of the 307 patients in serious condition, 175 are in critical condition and 157 are on ventilators.
“The pandemic is contracting. Our expectation is to see a decline from 1,000 confirmed cases and so the Health Ministry is preparing to present a plan to the government for an exit from this wave," said Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the Health Ministry on Sunday.
"We are concerned about a variant that will bypass the vaccination,” she added. On Thursday the Health Ministry reported 5 new confirmed cases of the AY4.2 delta variant.
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Also on Thursday, Israel announced of new travel guidelines for tourists entering the country. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz have approved a new policy under which vaccinated tourists will be allowed into Israel starting on November 1. The plan still needs the cabinet's approval.
Last week the R number – the average number of people each confirmed carrier infects – stood at 0.73, remaining below the 1.0 threshold practically means that the pandemic is shrinking.