NSC Prepares for Second Coronavirus Wave

Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in a lab at a health services branch in Tel Aviv, on Tuesday. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

A National Security Council document that was obtained by N12 on Wednesday outlines the various assessment steps for the possibility of another outbreak of the coronavirus in Israel. According to the document, at this stage the education system will begin preparations for the opening of the new school year in September, as well as the steps to deal with the outbreak among foreign workers and Bedouin citizens.

Many health experts have predicted Israel will see another large spike of coronavirus cases in the winter alongside the seasonal flu.

“In light of the morbidity trend and the possibility of a major outbreak, we must increase our efforts and prepare for the actions we will need to take to cope with the coronavirus,” the document states.

The NSC plan includes increasing the country’s ability to track where sick people have been and with whom they have interacted in order to quickly stop the chain of infection. It also addresses at-risk populations, such as the elderly, and discusses the need to continually review the situation through the Health Ministry’s Magen Avot v’Imahot (Guarding Fathers and Mothers) program.

The Bedouin and foreign workers communities in Tel Aviv are specifically called out as needing attention since they have had high infection rates.

Regarding the education system, it calls on schools and the Education Ministry to begin preparing for the new school year, with one of the ideas raised: Plexiglas partitions between student desks.

The document also highlights the need for continued dialogue with countries that are leading the fight against the coronavirus and learning from them about how they face various challenges of returning to routine.

Some experts have questioned whether the recent surge in coronavirus cases is already the second wave, but most health experts understand that Israel is not yet experiencing a second coronavirus wave because the first wave never ended.