Health Minister Warns of ‘Long Months Ahead’ in Battling Delta Variant

YERUSHALAYIM -
Healthcare workers take test samples of Israelis in a drive-through complex to check if they have been infected with the coronavirus, in Modi’in, on Wednesday. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Wednesday that Israel faces “long months” ahead in fighting the Delta variant, a more contagious coronavirus strain that is being blamed for the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Israel.

In a press briefing, he said that daily infections will continue to rise in the coming weeks and also predicted a rise in serious cases.

“Only one consideration leads us in managing this crisis — the public’s health,” Horowitz said.

He added: “The formula here is very clear, follow the guidelines now to prevent strict restrictions later. We understand the coronavirus won’t soon pass from the world. After the Delta variant it is likely that another variant will emerge in the world and therefore our strategy is clear: to learn to live alongside the coronavirus.”

Horowitz also said that the government’s goal is for schools to fully reopen at the beginning of September.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry informed the HMOs that, starting next Wednesday, youths aged 12-18 who want to get inoculated against COVID will receive only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The ministry added that those above 18 will receive only the Moderna vaccine, except those who were administered the Pfizer vaccine in the first jab.