IDF Maj.-Gen. (res.) Roni Numa was appointed as the coronavirus commissioner for Israel’s border crossings, with an emphasis on Ben Gurion airport, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Sunday morning.
Numa was recently in charge of the response in the chareidi sector.
The current spike in COVID cases is believed to have been caused by a breach at Ben-Gurion Airport on June 18, which saw thousands of Israelis return without undergoing any testing, and the consequent spread of the Delta variant around the country.
Speaking at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, Bennett said the Delta variant of the COVID-19 is 50% more contagious than previous strains.
“I know people want to enjoy the summer, but do so outdoors. If you want to have a restriction-free summer – go and get vaccinated,” Bennett said.
The Coronavirus Cabinet is expected to meet later on Sunday to discuss the next steps for managing the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, after the government on Friday restored the obligation of wearing masks indoors and in crowded spaces.
The Health Ministry said Sunday that 113 people had tested positive for COVID-19 the day before, yielding a 0.4% positivity rate after 32,703 tests were carried out.
As of Sunday morning, there were 1,175 active cases in Israel, compared to just 340 to at the same time last week.
Despite the recent surge, only eight people have been hospitalized in serious condition over the past week, putting Israel’s number of COVID patients in serious condition at 26, of whom 17 are ventilated.