Israel says it is battling a new outbreak of COVID-19 that struck despite its success vaccinating its population. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday described a recent surge in infections as a “new outbreak” in the country. And the director of the Israeli Health Ministry said about 70% of new infections were the Delta variant. Israel on Wednesday expanded powers meant to control the surge.
It said health officials could quarantine anyone who had been exposed to the variant, even if they had been vaccinated or previously infected, Reuters reported. Israel has the world’s highest share of its population fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. Its vaccination success means virtually all coronavirus-related restrictions have been removed, apart from requiring some people to quarantine and insisting on measures for international travellers.
The Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported that the 125 new cases the country recorded Monday were the highest daily count in two months.