WORLD Recent rise in COVID-19 cases constitutes 'new outbreak' in Israel: PM


Recent rise in COVID-19 cases constitutes 'new outbreak' in Israel: PM


07:27, June 23, 2021

JERUSALEM, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that a recent rise in COVID-19 cases constitutes "a new outbreak" in the country.

A medic prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Clalit Healthcare Services in the Israeli city of Holon near Tel Aviv on June 21, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

"In the light of the data, we are treating the situation as a renewed outbreak," Bennett said in a televised statement at Israel's international Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv.

"There are indications that the so-called Delta coronavirus variant has begun spreading in Israel," the Israeli leader added, noting he will reconvene the coronavirus cabinet to discuss a plan to curb the renewed spread of the virus.

He urged the Israelis flocking to the airport for summer holidays overseas to avoid travelling abroad "whenever possible" and to wear masks in closed spaces.

Israel lifted on June 14 a requirement to wear masks indoors but Bennett said the obligation is expected to be reimposed in the airport and possibly other closed spaces.

The Israeli health ministry reported on Monday 125 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily number in two months. There are now 477 diagnosed people in the country, 26 of them in serious condition, according to figures the ministry issued on Tuesday.

Some 55 percent of Israel's 9 million population have been vaccinated, according to the ministry.

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