Israel needs more jabs, tourist safeguards to avoid fifth Covid ...

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Israel needs more jabs, tourist safeguards to avoid fifth Covid wave

A government adviser says how the country opens is important because the last time it was passive and ‘lost control’

Gwen Ackerman

Israel must do more to break down vaccine resistance and implement tougher safeguards as foreign tourists start returning next month, or risk a fifth Covid-19 wave, public health experts are warning.

The increasingly urgent calls will be closely monitored worldwide as Israel has often been ahead of the curve in handling the coronavirus, from sweeping restrictions and vaccine programmes to renewed outbreaks as its economy reopened. It’s in the vanguard again with the world’s first widespread booster programme, which dramatically brought down a surge in cases generated by the Delta variant, but it’s being warned of another critical juncture ahead.

“It is not just about opening or not opening the borders,” said Nadav Davidovitch, head of Ben-Gurion University’s School of Public Health and a member of the expert panel advising the Israeli government on the coronavirus. “It’s about how we open. What we did last time was open and then we were passive and did almost nothing — no enforcement, no good genetic surveillance — and gradually we lost control.”..

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