A military-led task force has warned of the possible emergence of a mutated Israeli version of the coronavirus resistant to vaccines.
In a report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center on Saturday, Military Intelligence recommended that those who were vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 be tested for coronavirus, due to apprehensions over the possible development of an Israeli strain. Will be subjected to them. Quarantine requirements upon entering the country.
The report states, “A mass vaccine campaign parallel to the active outbreak in Israel could cause ‘evolutionary pressure’ on the virus.”
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About 2.5 million Israelis have received the first dose of the coronovirus vaccine, and more than 946,000 have received both shots. Israel aims to have its entire eligible adult population vaccinated by March.
According to two preliminary studies released last Wednesday, the Pfizer / BioNotech vaccine appears to be effective against the new, more infectious coronavirus virus that was first found in the UK and has since been found in dozens of countries. The strain, known as B.1.1.7, has been attributed by experts to the outbreak of alarm and the ability to outbreak the supercharged virus.
But it is yet another mutation, known as E484K, and is present in variants found in South Africa and Brazil, but not from Britain, with experts specifically regarding immune “escape” are worried.
The task force’s report came as the British version spread to Israel, with experts predicting it could become major tension within weeks. Israel has also seen more than 20 cases of the South African version, and is carefully monitoring for Brazil’s tensions, amid fears a mutation would escape the safety of the vaccine.
The Ministry of Health said on Saturday that several cases of the British coronavirus variant were discovered among pregnant women hospitalized in critical condition with COVID-19 complications.
The ministry said it took samples from 10 pregnant women and seven of them had completed sequencing so far, with six found to be British strain.
“In light of recent morbidity findings, pregnant women will be taken into preference to receive vaccines. Any pregnant woman who is vaccinated can be vaccinated, ”the ministry said in a statement.
In an effort to prevent imports from taking place in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will seek government approval on Sunday for his proposal to suspend all passenger flights to and from Israel for two weeks.
Netanyahu held a meeting Saturday night with officials of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transportation, the National Security Council and the Civil Aviation Authority, where an initial agreement mandates the entry of additional coronavial mutations into Israel “to essentially stop almost all flights” Was to stop., “According to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The agreement, subject to cabinet approval, includes banning all incoming and outgoing flights, restricting arrivals at Ben Gurion International Airport, and preparing a separate plan to allow special flights for humanitarian purposes.
According to the PMO announcement, people needing to travel may be allowed to do so “in exceptional circumstances”, which would require the approval of a committee headed by directors of the ministries of health and transport.
A proposal for cabinet approval will be moved on Sunday.
The statement said the ban would come into force once approved by the government, although it was not immediately clear whether the majority minister would return them.
According to an earlier report by Channel 12 News on Saturday, the travel ban applies to everyone, when they are fully vaccinated. Some health ministry officials suggest that the airport be reopened completely when at least 5 million Israelis have been vaccinated, according to the report, a scenario that could reach as early as March.
Agencies contributed to this report.