Health Ministry: Half of Israel’s New COVID Patients Infected Abroad

Gloves hang from a booth at an on-site COVID-19 testing facility in Ben Gurion airport. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Nearly half of all people recently confirmed with COVID-19 in Israel were infected abroad, the Health Ministry said.

Of the 109 cases confirmed in the past week, 51 were recent arrivals in Israel. They included new immigrants arriving from northern India, where the coronavirus is prevalent.

All of those who confirmed to have the virus were placed under strict quarantine upon their arrival in the country.

According to the Health Ministry, as of Monday a total of 66 people were being treated for the virus in hospitals around the country, 37 of them in serious condition and 25 on ventilators.

On Sunday, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that if the number of coronavirus cases remains low, Israel will completely lift its mask mandate on June 15.

Vaccination of children ages 12 to 15 began on Sunday, but there is no official recommendation for all children to be immunized.

The Health Ministry has instead advised children whose health is compromised or who have family members at high risk from the disease to receive the vaccine.