Even if a vaccine is found soon, it cannot be administered to everyone until the middle or end of 2022, Minister Cohen said.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen has warned Israel to brace for a second wave of coronavirus infections and sporadic outbreaks as well, reports Yediot Aharonot.
“Preparation for a second wave of coronavirus, or for localized outbreaks, is inevitable until a vaccine is found,” Cohen said as quoted by the Hebrew paper.
“Preparing in the best way possible and implementing recommendations will ensure that we minimize the economic damage to the market and ensure our ability to manage a routine in the shadow of coronavirus,” he said.
Even if a vaccine is found soon, it would not be administered to everyone until the middle or end of 2022, he added.
Late last month, Prof. Eli Waxman, chairman of the committee advising the government on the pandemic, said that Israel is not ready to handle a second coronavirus wave.
His reason for concern is primarily the lack of a mechanism for epidemiological testing and for identifying contacts with carriers of the virus. “There are no critical tools that should allow us to safely manage the epidemic and prevent new outbreaks,” he told Kan Bet radio in May.
Many countries have begun lifting coronavirus restrictions because infection rates have been slowing down. But that doesn’t mean it will remain that way or a second wave can’t hit during flu season (fall and winter), experts say.
Many questions remain regarding the nature of the virus. Scientists are still uncertain how infectious it is, whether different strains lead to different clinical outcomes, and why some experience serious symptoms while others do not.
However, leading White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is more optimistic that a second wave won’t happen.
“We often talk about the possibility of a second wave, or of an outbreak when you reopen. We don’t have to accept that as an inevitability,” Fauci told CNN in May. “Particularly when people start thinking about the fall, I want people to really appreciate that it could happen, but it is not inevitable.”
Fauci also said even if a second wave does happen, the country will be better prepared to fend it off.
“If we do the kinds of things that we’re putting in place now, to have the workforce, the system, and the will to do the kinds of things that are the clear and effective identification, isolation and contact tracing, we can prevent this second wave that we’re talking about,” he said.