Israel conducts “military exercises” to prepare for more deadly Covid strain

Israel began a nationwide exercise Thursday to test its preparedness in the event of an outbreak of a new, more deadly strain of the Covid-19 virus.

The three-phase exercise, which simulates the passage of time following a potential outbreak, will test the resilience of systems that determine blocking policies, track options, offer economic support to citizens, enforce quarantine and monitor border crossings.

“At a time when the coronavirus situation around the world is worsening, Israel is safe and protected,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. “In order to preserve this and to guarantee the continuity of normal life, we must continue to monitor the situation closely and prepare for any scenario.”

The number of seriously ill Israelis suffering from Covid-19 dropped from about 700 at the end of August to 149 as of Nov. 10, while the number of daily new infections dropped from about 10,000 a day to just under 500.

Israel opened its doors to fully vaccinated tourists this month, even though experts have called for stricter precautions. It is also preparing to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11 against Covid-19.

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