Israel #coronavirus chief Nachman Ash: “the possibility of a fourth lockdown before the election exists”

“We are concerned about the increase in infection in the coming days,” coronavirus czar Nachman Ash told 103FM Radio, adding that “the possibility of a fourth lockdown before the election exists.”

Ministry figures showed the virus’s basic reproduction number, or R-number, was at 1.01 Friday morning. The R-number is the number of new cases stemming from each coronavirus infection, or the number of people who caught the virus from each infected person. Any number lower than 1 means the pandemic is slowing down, while a number above 1 means it is expanding. The figures are based on new case numbers from 10 days earlier due to the virus’s incubation period.

Times of Israel report


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New #coronavirus variant with #E484K, #N501Y & #P681H mutations found in the Philippines, designated PHL-B.1.1.28

Here, we describe the emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 lineage, mainly from the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. This emergent variant is characterized by 13 lineage-defining mutations, including the co-occurrence of the E484K, N501Y, and P681H mutations at the spike protein region, as well as three additional radical amino acid replacements towards the C-terminal end of the said protein. A three-amino acid deletion at positions 141 to 143 (LGV141_143del) in the spike protein was likewise seen in a region preceding the 144Y deletion found in the B.1.1.7 variant. A single amino acid replacement, K2Q, at the N-terminus of ORF8 was also shared by all 33 samples sequenced.

Medrxiv paper  Genome sequencing and analysis of an emergent SARS-CoV-2 variant characterized by multiple spike protein mutations detected from the Central Visayas Region of the Philippines



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WHO Investigators scrap plans for interim report on probe of #coronavirus origins

WSJ:  “The World Health Organization team investigating the origins of Covid-19 is planning to scrap an interim report on its recent mission to China amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington over the investigation and an appeal from one international group of scientists for a new probe. A group of two dozen scientists is calling in an open letter on Thursday for a new international inquiry. They say the WHO team that last month completed a mission to Wuhan—the Chinese city where the first known cases were found—had insufficient access to adequately investigate possible sources of the new coronavirus, including whether it slipped from a laboratory.”

Open Letter Link    “Call for a Full and Unrestricted International Forensic Investigation into the Origins of COVID-19”

WSJ full report



More than 450 cases of the South African #coronavirus variant 501Y.V2 diagnosed in Israel

Over 450 cases of the South Africa coronavirus variant 501Y.V2 have been diagnosed in Israel so far, and health professionals estimate that dozens more are being infected each day.

The Israeli Health Ministry’s committees on vaccinations and the pandemic said two weeks ago that the B.1.351 or 501Y.V2 variant was spreading beyond control. full report


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#Austria and #Denmark to work with #Israel on future #coronavirus vaccines – EU ‘too slow’

Austria’s chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, described the EU’s vaccination deployment as “too slow” as he announced that his country and Denmark would work with Israel on protecting their citizens against new coronavirus variants.

The move by the two member states to form a vaccine manufacturing partnership comes as the latest figures show that 7.5% of the EU population have received a vaccine dose compared with 52% in Israel and 31% in the UK.

“We must prepare for further mutations and should no longer be dependent solely on the EU in the production of second-generation vaccines,” Kurz said.

Full Guardian Report


By Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres – Arbeitsbesuch Israel, CC BY 2.0,

Israel: Netanyahu wants 36m more #coronavirus vaccines. “The worst scenario is that we have to vaccinate every half year.”

Israel is looking to buy 36 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines, three times the number it has already bought, in case booster shots are needed later in the year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

“We are working on bringing a further 36 million vaccines for the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu said in public remarks. “The vaccines we have, no one knows how long they last… We need to prepare for the worst scenario. The worst scenario is that we have to vaccinate every half year.”

Reuters full report


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More than 40,000 active #coronavirus cases in #Israel with 51.5% of the population vaccinated. Transmission R rate nears 1

There are 40,108 active coronavirus cases in Israel, according to Israeli Health Ministry figures released on Sunday morning.

1,278 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, of whom 776 are in serious condition and 241 are on ventilators. To date, 5,738 people have died of the coronavirus.

According to the latest figures from Sunday, Israel has inoculated almost 4.7 million people (51.5 percent of the population)

Haaretz report dated 10.45am on 28th February 2021


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Stillborn #baby death linked to #coronavirus, second such case in one week in Israel

A woman in her 36th week of pregnancy gave birth to a dead baby on Friday at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba. She had gone to the hospital after she stopped feeling fetal movements. Laboratory tests performed after the baby’s birth showed that he was infected with novel coronavirus.

The hospital said that it suspects there is a connection between the baby’s death and the virus. The woman, 26, has a mild case of the virus. She was not vaccinated. This is the second such case in Israel and one of only a handful worldwide of a fetus contracting the virus in utero.

Full report in the Jerusalem Post


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2 Israeli men in their 20s die of #COVID19 in a day

Neither had pre-existing health conditions; both collapsed in their homes

Two Israeli men in their twenties with no pre-existing health conditions died of COVID-19 within hours of each other on Thursday.

Ghazi Zoabi, 23, from the northern city of Nazareth, collapsed in his home and was hospitalized in critical condition. Doctors later pronounced his death. He had received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to Hebrew media reports.

Another man, 26, who was not identified, died earlier Thursday in Jerusalem. The resident of Ras al-Amud was brought to Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital in serious condition, where he tested positive for the virus. He died in the hospital.

Neither man was reported to have any underlying health conditions.

The Times of Israel Report



50% of #Israel population now vaccinated but #coronavirus infection rate is increasing

As Israel continues to reopen its economy following a six-week lockdown, the COVID-19 infection has reversed course and is on the rise once again, with the R rate inching toward 1 again and currently at 0.97. The number of patients in serious condition also remaining high (over 800), according to a report released on Friday the Military Intelligence’s national information center on the coronavirus.

The R rate is expected to surpass 1 within a few days if this trend of rising infection and serious illness continues.

Haaretz report


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#India, #Maharashtra again reports over 6,000 #coronavirus cases in Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Amravati, Thane and Akola

A rising trend of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate has been observed in six districts — Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai and Suburban, Amravati, Thane and Akola — over the past few days.

After slipping below 5,000 for a day, new COVID-19 cases again crossed the 6,000-mark in Maharashtra on Tuesday on the back of a spike in the Akola division, while 51 patients died, a multi-week high, in the state, the health department said.

The state reported 6,218 new COVID-19 cases, up from 5,210 on Monday, taking the tally to 21,12,312, it said.

The state — which has witnessed an upsurge in COVID- 19 cases since February 10 — reported 6,112 infections on February 19, followed by 6,281 on February 20 and 6,971 on February 21. report


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