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Israel Deputy Health Minister: ‘Our fight against COVID mutations will take many years’

Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish (Likud) warned Tuesday morning that the infection rate in Israel remains dangerously high, despite the ongoing lockdown and mass vaccination campaign.

“The situation is concerning,” Kish said during an interview with Radio 103FM.

“We still aren’t seeing the decrease we have been expecting in the number of seriously ill patients.”

Kish pushed back on Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s criticism of the Prime Minister’s demand for additional extensions of the lockdown, calling Gantz’s opposition “political”.

“There is a political matter here. What I saw at the last government meeting was that Gantz is unwilling to compromise on his position. His position is different from that of the Health Ministry’s experts, and he is able to force it on the entire State of Israel.”

“The situation here is dangerous, different positions can create a situation of paralysis.”

Kish also warned that the new variants of the coronavirus will likely require serious government measures to combat them for years to come.

“The British mutation is far more infectious. And this won’t be the last mutation. We’re in a battle that will be with us for many years.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel Hayom reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu is pushing for further extensions of the nationwide lockdown, after the government voted Sunday to extend the lockdown until Friday morning.

Netanyahu had demanded that the lockdown be extended until next Sunday, but opposition from Gantz led to a compromise, under which the lockdown was extended until Friday.

Source: Arutz Sheva