At least 150 Chinese construction workers employed in the Jordan Valley have been infected with coronavirus, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday, as 29 people who were in contact with them have also tested positive for the virus.
The Health Ministry has also set up dedicated quarantine hotels for the workers to stay for the period of isolation, since they all live in shared housing.
The Health Ministry has said it is conducting DNA sequencing in order to rule out the possibility that the workers were infected with a new COVID-19 variant. Other workers who work in the area are being tested to cut the chain of infection.
The outbreak began when eight people working at the same construction site got infected with the virus. Some of the workers have either received a Chinese vaccine before their arrival to Israel, a Pfizer vaccine in Israel or haven't been vaccinated at all.
Israel continues to log a steady decline in coronavirus cases. According to Health Ministry data published on Wednesday, hospitals currently have 201 patients in serious condition. Out of the seriously ill patients, 135 are in critical condition. At the same time, 663 people across the country were reported positive on Wednesday. The death toll from the pandemic has also reached 8,106 as the number of Israelis who received the booster shot approaches 4 million.
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Yesterday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the vaccination of children aged five to 11. Clinical trials conducted by Pfizer indicated a 90.7 percent effectiveness in preventing symptoms among this age group. In Israel, a hearing on the subject will be held tomorrow.