Israel heading to adopt ‘herd immunity’ amid COVID-19 surge
Israel is heading towards adopting "herd immunity", Minister of Regional Cooperation Issawi Frej said Tuesday, amid a surge in COVID-19 infections in the country.
"According to the data we have, it is expected that between two to four million people will be infected with the virus in the next three weeks," Frej told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
Israel’s population is estimated at 9.4 million by the end of 2021, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.
"This is the trend, why do we bury our heads in the ground and be like an ostrich? The pandemic will reach everyone," the minister said.
This is the first time that a senior Israeli official talks about the possibility of a "herd immunity" scenario.
For more than a week, Israeli health authorities have recorded a surge in coronavirus infections.
On Tuesday, the Israeli Ministry of Health registered 37,887 virus cases in the past 24 hours.
Commenting on the overcrowded labs, Frej pointed out that the government is unable to carry out all the required coronavirus tests.
"We have a problem in the laboratories…, We are doing our best to protect public health, we have brought in vaccines and medicines, but in addition to that, public behavior comes first, which is more important than any step we take."
"It is the behavior of each of us that will determine where we are going," he added.