Israel to hold world’s first drill to test readiness for new Covid variant

Israel will conduct the first ever national Covid drill in order to assess its readiness to deal with a deadly new variant of the virus.
The drill, which is scheduled for Thursday, will follow the format of a military exercise and be led by Naftali Bennett, the prime minister.

It will assess the ability of national agencies and government departments to respond to the "Omega” variant of Covid-19.

According to the Israeli government's press office, no such variant has been found in Israel.

Bennett stated that Israel had defeated a fourth wave Covid and that "we are on the way towards exiting from the Delta variant".

He said that the fight against the virus was not over. "We continue to hold drills, to challenge ourselves... We must continue to closely watch the situation and be prepared for any eventuality."

This exercise will be conducted by Israel's civil defense minister at Jerusalem's National Management Centre, which manages national crises.

It will include:

Restrictions on gatherings and movement.

Oversight and warnings given during the development and testing of a dangerous variant.

Legality of curfews and lockdowns at local and regional levels, as well as other restrictions.

Support for the economy

Public security is responsible for enforcing quarantine lockdowns, curfews, and other restrictions.

Closing schools at outbreak centres, reducing class sizes, and remote learning.

Policy at the borders, including Ben Gurion airport.

Information to the public and response to "discourses on the internet".

On Wednesday, the Israeli health ministry reported 475 additional Covid cases. Experts warn that another wave of Covid variants could emerge in the months ahead.

Over four-fifths of the population has received a booster vaccination dose. This week, the government will decide whether to vaccinate children between five and 11.

Israel conducts regular national security drills to protect its citizens.