The Department of Health in Israel has reported four confirmed cases of the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has been found in South Africa. This is the first time, the highly infectious South African variant of the virus has been found in the country. The Health Ministry has said that these four cases have been identified after an advanced testing program has been put in place. These four confirmed cases of the South African strain include one traveler who has recently returned from South Africa and family members of another person who has traveled from South Africa. The officials from the Health ministry have said that people who have been returning from South Africa and the United Kingdom, where new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been creating havoc, have been asked to check in to state-run hotels for their quarantine period and their test samples are being sent for advanced testing. Experts from the Department of Health in Israel have said that although many studies have reported that the new strains of the virus are highly contagious, they have not found any evidence that it can cause severe infection. On the other hand, new variants, which have been identified in the UK and South Africa, have been causing major concern across the globe.
A Military Task Force has reported that the new mutation of the virus, which has been found in the UK and causing a significant surge in COVID19 cases, has been spreading in Israel as well. The officials from the Military Task Force have requested the authorities to put stricter measures in place to contain the spread of the virus. They have advised that there should be a complete shut down of the education system as well. As per the data, around 30 people who have been infected with the new strain of the virus found in the UK have ended up infecting 189 more people in Israel. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a major incident on Friday as the rapid spread of the new mutation of the virus has pushed hospitals to their limit. The rate of hospitalization due to COVID19 has gone up to be 27 percent last week in London. As per the Offices of National Statistics, nearly one person out of 30 has been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the first week of January.
Health experts have said that the rate of coronavirus infection in Israel has been high but it has been steady after the government has imposed stricter lockdown across the country in order to contain the rapid spread of the virus. Raging COVID19 outbreaks have been threatening to derail the vaccination drive in the country, said the experts. According to official figures, nearly 115000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine last week in the country. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has said that out of the population of 9.29 million, around 1.7 million people have been vaccinated so far. The country has the highest rate of vaccination in the world. Nearly 70 percent of people who have been above 60 years of age have been immunized with the first shot of the vaccine across the country. At the same time, around 8000 daily cases of COVID19 have been reported in Israel for the fourth day in a row. The data has shown that nearly 65008 confirmed cases of the virus have surfaced in the nation so far. Nearly 925 patients have been dealing with severe COVID19 infection. Around 283 people have been tagged as critically ill and 224 patients have been on ventilators. Experts have said that around 268 patients have been diagnosed with a mild infection and others have been showing no symptoms of the disease. These two mutated strains of the virus share a common mutation, which has been termed as N501Y. This commonly shared mutation can be defined as a tiny change on the spike protein of the virus, which is responsible for the strains being more infectious. The variant of the virus which has been discovered in South Africa has an extra mutation as well, which is called E484K. However, Pfizer has conducted a study on its shots to determine whether its vaccine is effective against the new strains of the virus. Experts have found that Pfizer and BioNtech vaccine will be able to provide enough immunity against the new variants of the virus. Experts have said that viruses such as coronavirus keep on mutating as they spread from person to person.