Israel said it would ban the entry of all foreigners into the country, making it the first country to shut its borders completely in response to a new and potentially more contagious coronavirus variant.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that the ban, pending government approval, would last 14 days. Officials hope that within that period, there will be more information on how effective COVID-19 vaccines are against Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa and has been dubbed a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization.
"Our working hypotheses are that the variant is already in nearly every country," Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked told N12's "Meet the Press," "and that the vaccine is effective, although we don't yet know to what degree."
Israelis entering the country, including those who are vaccinated, will be required to quarantine, Bennett said. The ban will come into effect at midnight between Sunday and Monday. A travel ban on foreigners coming from most African states was imposed on Friday. headtopics.com
The Shin Bet counter-terrorism agency's phone-tracking technology will be used to locate carriers of the new variant in order to curb its transmission to others, Bennett said.Used on and off since March 2020, the surveillance technology matched virus carriers' locations against other mobile phones nearby to determine with whom they had come into contact. Israel's Supreme Court this year limited the scope of its use after civil rights groups mounted challenges over privacy concerns.
The variant, which has also been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany and Britain, has sparked global concern and a wave of travel curbs, although epidemiologists say such restrictions may be too late to stop Omicron from circulating globally.
Israel has so far confirmed one case of Omicron, with seven suspected cases. The Health Ministry has not said whether the confirmed case was vaccinated. Three of the seven suspected cases were fully vaccinated, the ministry said on Saturday, and three had not returned from travel abroad recently.
Around 57% of Israel's 9.4 million population is fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry, which means they have either received a third shot of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine or it has not yet been five months since they received their second dose. Israel has recorded 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 8,000 fatalities since the pandemic began. headtopics.com
(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Leslie Adler)RELATED VIDEORead more: ABS-CBN News »
Robredo's new campaign tagline: 'Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat'
Vice President Leni Robredo says while it has been challenging to impose message discipline among her supporters, it's still a 'good problem' to have
Good .... World wide hard lockdown is mandatory now ! Another dose of vaccine then for the omicron? 🥺 unlibooster Dapat ganyan ang action ng gov't. Hindi ung selected countries lang. Nakakalimutan na yung 'Prevention is better than cure'. And, baka matulad yan sa Delta Variant na late detected. Welcome back faceshield🤣🤣🤣
Sana ganun din dito sa Pilipinas.Kaso mag ban lang sila pag meron ng nakapasok. How about the Ms. Universe? Tuloy pa ba? Sana ganun din tau!! Sa Hong Kong may omicron na! Ano na Duque at Pdutz? Tulog pa rn sa pansitan? Good move.. Unlike here iniintay pang may maka pasok.. So tuloy ba ang Miss Universe? Sana ganyan din d2 sa pilipinas mabilis kilos ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno ng mauunlad na bansa
Israel raises 'red flag' after finding new COVID strain Israel said Friday it was raising a “red flag” and imposing a series of emergency measures to protect its heavily vaccinated population after identifying a case of the new COVID-19 variant.
All Countries...So hindi na pala Tuloy ang Ms Universe...Ban na pala ang all foteigner
Thailand bans entry from 8 countries over OmicronThe World Health Organization designated it the latest 'variant of concern,' saying it may spread more quickly than other forms. Hello Philippines!!!🇵🇭 Is Duque asleep again?
PH agencies in talks on HK flight ban amid Omicron variantThis comes after the Philippines on Friday night suspended inbound flights from South Africa, where the variant of concerned was first detected, and 7 other countries surrounding it due to the threat.
US imposes travel ban on eight African countries over Omicron variantThe US will bar entry to most travelers from 8 southern African countries starting on Monday.
Govt mulls possible expansion of travel ban due to Omicron variantThe government is discussing the possible expansion of the travel ban meant to prevent the spread of Omicron , a new COVID-19 variant of concern, a health official said Saturday. Jusko sana mas mabilis ang discussion no? Urgency!
Gov’t discussing expansion of temporary travel ban amid Omicron variant threatThe government is discussing whether more nations should be included in the country’s temporary ban list due to the threat of the new South Africa COVID-19 variant called Omicron . | DFernandezINQ DFernandezINQ Discussing, great… (Because we have a great history of discussing our way out of situations).