Good News as Israel Remembers

Today Israel fell silent again for two minutes, with a siren prompting traffic to come to a standstill and people everywhere to stand in a collective act of remembrance of 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

But in contrast to that most solemn of memories, there was good news for the country. With 56 percent of Israelis vaccinated and another 15 percent recovered from COVID-19, experts from the Sheba Medical Centre think it may have reached what is known as ‘herd immunity’.

Dr Eyal Leshem, director of Sheba’s Institute for Travel & Tropical Medicine, told Israel21c that:

“We’re seeing a decline in the number of cases now despite the return to
mass gatherings and schools following the third lockdown, because
most of the people the infected person will meet are immune by now.”

And that view seemed to match the decision by Israel`s Cabinet on Wednesday to ease more of the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The number of people allowed to gather outdoors has been increased from 50 to 100, and cultural sites can now accept up to 750 visitors who hold the Green Passes issued to Israelis who have either received two vaccine injections or recovered from COVID-19.

Indeed, on Thursday, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein presented ministers with a plan for a further easing of coronavirus restrictions on the education system. This would enable more students to attend classes in person rather than online.

The proposal is a result of consultations between Health Ministry officials and the National Parents Association. It involves changes to the ‘pod’ system, which limits the number of students who can study as a group.

This is good news for all countries – a clear indication that vaccination programmes hold the potential to enable everyday life to return to something with much greater freedom than the coronavirus has allowed in recent months.