The Israeli Ministry of Health has indicated through its website that during the last day 40,430 positives have been registered, bringing the total to 1,713,563, with 8,293 deaths from COVID-19. Among the detected cases, at least twenty would be a new subvariant of the Ómicron strain of the coronavirus that has been called BA2.
The variant, which has already been detected in other countries, carries additional mutations to those that Omicron itself already has. The Israeli authorities have confirmed this Friday more than 40,000 cases of coronavirus during the last day, the second highest figure to date, while ehe total number of patients in serious condition has exceeded the threshold of 300 in the country.
The head of Israel’s pandemic response, Salman Zarka, said on Thursday that non-essential medical treatments may have to be temporarily suspended due to increased pressure from the pandemic and an increase in infected health workers. Thus, he recognized that the rebound in the figures, mainly attributed to the omicron variant, “poses immense challenges when it comes to preserving essential services”, for which reason “minimizing non-essential treatments” is being considered, according to the newspaper ‘ The Times of Israel’.
According to the local radio station Kan, a few weeks ago it was found in China, and now it has also been observed in Australia, Denmark or Singapore, among others. The suspicion is that it could have been diagnosed for the first time in India, where the previous Delta variant appeared. The latter is what alerts us to a similarity with Deltacron, which was combined from both strains at the same time.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that between two and four million Israelis could be infected with COVID-19 during this wave, before asking the population to be patient and understand the measures of the authorities.
SARS-CoV-2 will continue to mutate, and at a faster rate if the vaccines do not reach all corners of the planet, although it may one day become endemic. Faced with an uncertain future, drug agencies mobilize to seek “long-term” joint strategies, to the detriment of “continuous” reinforcements and “reactive” responses. On the other hand, the Israeli Ministry of Health explains that “there is no evidence that it is a dangerous variant, or at least its behavior has not yet been studied.”
Half a million with the fourth dose
Israel surpassed half a million people inoculated with a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Prime Minister Naftali Benet’s office reported today, as infections rise rapidly. “Israel’s pioneering vaccination campaign has reached another milestone,” Benet said when announcing the number of those inoculated, all of them over 60 years of age. In addition, he thanked those who came for the fourth time to receive the puncture for “helping to keep everyone safer.” This number of inoculated was reached in less than two weeks, after the approval of the fourth dose for this age group on January 2.
The EMA insists that “we have to think about how we can transition from the current and still pandemic framework, to a more endemic one”, which – still unconfirmed – could be the scenario towards which COVID-19 could potentially walk in the future. One of the strategies is to “synchronize vaccination with the arrival of the (cold) season depending on the hemisphere, similar to what already happens with the flu vaccine” in the fall, says Cavaleri, in defense of a vaccination ” more spaced out in time.
“If we have a strategy where we give boosters every, say, four months, we will probably end up having problems with the immune response, which will not be as good as we would like. So we should be careful not to overload the immune system with repeated immunization,” he summarized this week.