Bennett Warns of Widespread Infections

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a press conference, Sunday. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett exhorted Israelis once again to get vaccinated as the fifth coronavirus wave spreads.

“It is not inconceivable that many of us will unfortunately be infected, but this is not a big deal, because we are vaccinated,” he said.

The prime minister cited the epidemiological data that indicate the Omicron variant “is unusually contagious. If during Delta we saw a doubling [of cases] every 10 days, now the average is [a doubling] every day or two or three days.”

“We know that those who are fully vaccinated, by and large, can be infected and infect others,” Bennett continues, “but those who are fully protected will get through it without any problem.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid downplayed the potentially negative impact of Israel’s rapidly growing list of countries banned due to Omicron.

“I was asked in recent days if declaring a long line of countries red cause diplomatic harm,” Lapid said at a Yesh Atid faction meeting on Monday. “The answer is it does, but we know how to manage it.”

He said that Israeli diplomats speak with each individual country to explain the considerations, he explained.

“The countries of the world understand us, because they’re getting hit much worse than we are,” Lapid noted.

Earlier on Monday, Israel added the U.S., Canada and eight other countries to its “red” list, in order to try to keep the Omicron variant out of the country.