Israeli officials gearing up for fourth wave of Covid, ‘1,000 infections a day’

A High Holiday lockdown is reportedly being planned; judges rule children can be vaccinated even if one parent objects. 

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Army Radio reported on Thursday that the Prime Minister’s Office is already drawing up plans for very strong Covid restrictions during the coming months, including the High Holidays of Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

The report cited a document which said the public should be informed ahead of time of upcoming restrictions to be imposed during the summer, including curtailing weddings and cultural festivities. Many Israelis schedule their summer vacations between the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av and the beginning of the school year. This year, the 9th of Av falls on August 18.

Two Israelis succumbed to Covid on Thursday, the first Covid-deaths in two weeks. One was a 48-year-old man who refused to get vaccinated despite the urging of his family. The other was an 86-year-old man who had received both Covid shots.

IDF Home Front Command chief Maj.-Gen. Ori Gordin warned on Wednesday of a likely fourth wave of Covid outbreaks with “1,000 infections a day by the end of the week.”

He was addressing a Zoom teleconference with other officials who echoed his alert.

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Coronavirus czar Professor Nachman Ash said, “We are now preparing for an increase in morbidity. I must emphasize the pandemic is not at all behind us. The event is ongoing.”

The Delta variant, which originated in India, is responsible for a surge of new cases in Israel and around the world. According to Ministry of Health figures, the Delta variant makes up 90 percent of Israel’s new cases.

The ministry also reported 518 new cases of Covid diagnosed on Wednesday, the third consecutive day that statistic topped 500. The number of serious cases rose to 78 of whom 46 are hospitalized. Overall, Israel is now dealing with 3,568 active cases.

The Delta surge is also responsible for a sharp rise in Israelis being forced to quarantine. More than 30,000 Israelis have had to quarantine in the last two weeks. The overall number of self-isolating Israelis is around 44,000.

Court rulings for children

On Thursday, a Haifa Family Court ruled that two 15-year old brothers who wanted to get vaccinated could do so despite the objections of their father. The mother supported their vaccination. In a separate case, a Haifa District Court judge ruled against a mother who opposed her daughter’s wishes to get vaccinated. Reports did not indicate the age of the girl, but noted that her father supported the inoculation.

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Hebrew media reports also said Israel’s four health care providers appear not to be on track to meet the government’s ambitious goal of vaccinating 50% of children ages 12-15 by the end of July. So far, an overall 31 percent of the HMOs’ members in the targeted age groups have received their first vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine requires a three-week gap between the two inoculations.