Israel on Thursday began a nationwide drill to test its readiness in the event of an outbreak of a new, more lethal Covid-19 variant.
The exercise, war-gamed over three sessions to simulate the passage of time after a potential flare-up, will test the resilience of systems that determine lockdown policies, monitor variants, offer economic support for citizens, enforce quarantines and watch border crossings.
“While the situation of coronavirus in the world is deteriorating, Israel is safe and protected,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. “In order to maintain this, and to safeguard the continuity of normal life, we must continue to closely monitor the situation and prepare for any scenario.”
The number of seriously ill Israelis suffering from Covid-19 dropped from around 700 at the end of August to 149 on Nov. 10, while the number of daily new infections fell from around 10,000 a day to just under 500.
Israel opened its doors to fully vaccinated tourists this month even as experts called for the implementation of tougher safeguards. It’s also preparing to vaccinate 5- to 11-year-olds against Covid-19.