Israel leads world in infections as Covid surges out of control; quarantine for schoolkids to end

Despite vaccine mandates and closed borders, Jewish State has highest per capita infection rate in the world.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Israel is leading the world in COVID cases by capita, as an Israeli professor told the media on Thursday that according to global statistics, some 0.6 percent of people in the Jewish State are testing positive for the virus on a daily basis.

In the last week, some 276,000 Israelis tested positive for the virus, pushing Israel’s total COVID cases over the two million mark.

Less than 9,000 Israelis have died with COVID since March 2020.

The record spike in cases comes despite Israel being one of the first countries in the word to implement a digital COVID passport system barring entry to restaurants, hotels, and other leisure venues to unvaccinated people, widespread vaccine mandates for employees in most industries, and a mandatory third booster shot which was criticized as unnecessary by doctors and immunologists.

“We are very close to the height, or even at the height of the Omicron wave,” Prof. Eran Segal of The Weizmann Institute told Channel 12 News.

He said he expects that one out of ten Israelis will test positive during this wave, and then “there will be a relatively fast decline” in infections.

Israel has signaled that it’s abandoning previous strict policies aimed at eliminating the virus, as the Jewish State finally reopened its borders to tourists after nearly two years of a total blanket ban on entry for non-citizens and residents.

The government announced Thursday that it was suspending quarantine for children whose classmates test positive for the virus, as some 300,000 students were in isolation as of Thursday.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said the move to end quarantine was “a brave decision,” and that “it would have been easier to close the education system, but our duty is to save every boy and girl” from the social and educational disruption of isolation.

Regardless of vaccination status, students will perform biweekly antigen tests to enter educational institutions. If they test positive, they will isolate. But if a classmate tests positive and they test negative, they can continue on as normal, rather than entering quarantine.