- The number of daily infections and the mortality rates are the highest since the pandemic began.
- Sheldon Adelson, a longtime supporter of Israel, and benefactor of President Donald Trump, passed away this week.
- Israel is taking advantage of the last days of Trump Administration in airstrikes in Syria
Two million Israelis have already received first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, over 20% of the Israel population. An additional 110,000 have already received the second dose. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that vaccination campaign success will allow Israel to ease restrictions while Europe plans lockdowns well into March and April.
Israel is presently in a lockdown. Israel has a moral need to also vaccinate the Palestinian population. The number of daily infections and the mortality rates are the highest since the pandemic began.
Considering the small population of Israel— about 10,000,000 people— on Wednesday, 50 people died. In two weeks, over 500 people died from the coronavirus.
The planned lockdown was for two weeks, but the number of cases has not decreased, which will require another week or two of closures. Schools are closed. All businesses are closed, except those which are essential for daily life, like supermarkets and pharmacies.
Israel’s COVID-19 inoculation drive includes employees of the health and education system and Israelis over 50 years old. Next week it will be extended to those age 40 and up. There are over 1,000 serious cases hospitalized, of which 280 are on ventilators. The hospital staffs are under unusual pressure and are asking for the government to give them additional funding to care for the sick.
Law enforcement will boost the lockdown this weekend, setting up 25 checkpoints throughout the country. Those that violate the regulation of permitted travel without proper reasons will receive a 500 shekel penalty. Israelis are not allowed to travel farther than 1 kilometer from their homes or visit households besides emergencies.
There is a second COVID infectious virus in Israel. A man who had recovered from the first virus died from the second COVID infection. It was a different strain of the coronavirus. Five strains of coronavirus have been identified so far.
Sheldon Adelson, a longtime supporter of Israel, and benefactor of President Donald Trump, passed away this week. It was a hard blow for Israel, as he was very generous to Israeli causes in the country. Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his special condolences to the family. Mr. Adelson died at the age of 87 years old.
There is anxiousness about taking the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. A 75 year-old woman died shortly after taking the vaccine. There is opposition to taking the Pfizer vaccine because it has not been tested for more than a short time.
Although most of the religious leaders have advised Jews to take the vaccine, opponents claim that they are being pressured by the government to give this OK rather than to judge themselves.
For those who took the first dose, there were almost no side effects. The second dose is well known to cause immediate side-effects, like chills, fever, tiredness, and muscle aches. Long-term damage, which may be caused by the vaccine, is still unknown.
Pope Francis is advising his staff at the Vatican to take the vaccine. He himself will take the vaccine as well. He says that it is necessary to listen to the advice of doctors who know more about the necessity to take the vaccine than other people.
Israel has made large airstrikes in Syria on Iranian–Syrian military bases located near Iraq. These airstrikes were even of a higher intensity than in the past. Two dozen people were reported to have been killed. The strikes come as the Trump administration is wrapping up. There are rumors that these attacks were done with the help of American intelligence.