Israel has stepped up protective measures for its elderly population after a rise in the number of coronavirus infections, stated Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s Office on Wednesday.

Following a consultation by Bennett, Israeli Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz and other health experts, while that decision was taken, there was no change in government health policies, said the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Officials presented the current picture and infection figures in recent days, which point to a consistent upward trend. They also presented assessments going forward,” said Bennett’s office.

As part of the measures, the health system will place a greater emphasis on a program to protect senior homes and retirement centers, reiterating recommendations for elderly citizens and those at risk to wear a mask indoors. The obligation to wear a mask in medical facilities and senior facilities will remain in place.

Monitoring for disease levels via sewage samples will also continue, said the statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, director of the national COVID-19 program Salman Zarka told attendees at the “2042 Medicine Conference” taking place from June 8-9 in Tel Aviv that “it looks like we are the start of a new corona wave,” the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron, according to a report by Channel 13.

He added that “we are weighing the giving of a fifth vaccine dose.”

JNS

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