Israel sees uptick in Covid cases despite world-leading inoculation programme

Prime minister Naftali Bennett says any surge can be beaten without restrictions

Matt Mathers
Thursday 01 July 2021 12:50

Israel is experiencing an uptick in new Covid-19 infections despite having vaccinated more of its population than any other country in the world, figures show.

Officials on Wednesday recorded 307 new cases, according to Israel's ministry of health.

Towards the end of April and throughout May, new cases had been relatively low - often fewer than 100 - but there has been a slight increase in recent days, raising fears of a surge in infections.

New infections have been near or above 300 for three consecutive days.

The Middle East country has been praised for its world-leading inoculation programme.

According to Our World in Data figures, nearly 60 per cent of people have received two doses of a jab.

For comparison, the UK total stands at 48 per cent and the US is 46 per cent, although Israel has a much smaller population than both.

Multiple studies have shown that while vaccines give strong protection against Covid-19 they do not completely eliminate transmission of the infection.

It's thought that the rise in infections could be driven by younger people and children.

Earlier this week, prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced a drive to inoculate children between the ages of 12 and 15.

He said any potential surge in infections could be beaten back without the need for further more restrictions or lockdowns.

“We can beat the current coronavirus wave without restrictions,” Mr Bennett said. “Vaccinations instead of lockdowns, masks instead of restrictions.”

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