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Shaare Zedek staff and an IDF Home Front Command soldier

Israel to Hold National Drill to Prepare for Future Covid Variants

Israel held a nationwide drill on Thursday, November 11, to prepare for the possibility of future coronavirus variants, the Prime Minister’s Office announced, saying the exercise would be the first of its kind in the world.

“The State of Israel is in an excellent situation, we defeated the fourth wave and we are on the verge of exiting the Delta variant,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. “But, at the same time, we are always looking to the future and preparing for the continuation of the campaign.”

Bennett said that the government and health officials “are not packing up our equipment and not shutting down our management bodies and our virus-fighting forces. Rather the opposite — we’re continuing to be prepared and to challenge ourselves.”

The drill, which was run from a situation room in Jerusalem, was a simulation that deals with coordinating various high-level officials and bodies to prepare for a new COVID strain, nicknamed the “Omega” strain for the exercise.

The gathered officials are to deal with a wide range of scenarios and work to coordinate and make decisions related to the restriction of movement, quarantine, education, air travel, and more. The drill came as Israel is exiting its fourth wave of coronavirus infection.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country dropped to 6,450 after being above 10,000 for over three months and after passing 90,000 in early September, according to figures released on Wednesday, November 10, by the Health Ministry.

The data also showed 475 new cases were confirmed on Tuesday, November 9, down from between 5,000 and 6,000 daily almost two months ago. There were 147 people hospitalized in serious condition and the death toll stood at 8,133. (TOI / VFI News)

“The Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.” - Psalm 41:2-3