Coronavirus in Israel: I don’t expect another wave says Coronavirus Commissioner


Israel is not going to experience another wave, Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said Sunday, as the number of cases dropped below 350, the lowest level since November.

“I’m glad to see a decline in all indices,” Ash said in a press briefing. “I want to remind everyone that we have not yet reached the low numbers that we registered between the second and third waves, so there is still a long way to go. However, the encouraging detail is that the decrease is happening despite a wide opening of the economy, which occurred about two weeks ago as the third stage of the exit strategy from the lockdown began.”

Some 337 new cases of the novel coronavirus were identified on Saturday, with only 1.8% of tests returning positive, the Health Ministry reported.

While the number of tests administered on Saturdays is consistently lower than on weekdays, the decrease remains meaningful as on the previous Saturday some 783 fewer cases were reported, and on the previous one to that, some 1,878 cases were seen. The last time Israel registered such a low number of cases was, once again, on a Saturday, but in November.

The R rate, or reproduction rate, also continued to decrease, standing at 0.62. The figure reflects how many people each coronavirus carrier infects on average. When the number is lower than 0.8 the disease is considered to be receding. Experts have been closely monitoring the rate, to see how lifting restrictions have impacted the ability of the disease to infect. While the vast majority of activities have resumed for at least two weeks, the R rate is steadily declining.

In addition, only four people succumbed to the virus on Saturday, the lowest daily toll in months. Some 6,085 have succumbed to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

UK – Vaccines for all over-40s by Easter after ‘bumper boost’ to supplies


Everyone over 40 should be offered their first Covid-19 vaccine by Easter, with a “bumper boost” to supplies allowing the programme to rapidly expand next week, The Telegraph can reveal. 

Stocks are expected to more than double, allowing the NHS to administer up to a million doses a day in coming weeks, government sources said. 

It means that all over-50s are expected to receive an invitation for a jab over the next week – around three weeks ahead of the Government’s target.

The Prime Minister had promised that jabs would be offered to all over-50s by April 15, and to everyone over the age of 18 by the end of July.

However, senior government sources said the programme was already far ahead of expectations and about to accelerate dramatically.

As a result, there is growing confidence that all adults over 40 will have been offered a first dose of the vaccine before Easter, which falls on April 4. It will also increase pressure on the Government to speed up the exit from lockdown.

On Friday night, Tory MPs said the progress, combined with continued falls in cases and hospitalisations, meant pubs and restaurants should be allowed to open from Easter. The current plan allows only “al fresco” hospitality to open a week later, with indoor eating and drinking not allowed until May.

The UK’s R number has now dropped to between 0.6 and 0.8, down from 0.7 to 0.9 a week ago, with prevalence of coronavirus in England now the lowest it has been since September, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Israel – Less than 3% of serious COVID cases are fully vaccinated, proving effectiveness


Less than three percent of all seriously ill COVID-19 patients in Israel have been fully vaccinated, according to Health Ministry figures released Sunday, in the latest figures proving the success of coronavirus vaccines,

Of the 6,095 coronavirus patients hospitalized in serious or critical condition since the start of Israel’s vaccination campaign, only 175, or 2.87 percent, had received the second vaccination dose, the figures show.

At the same time, 4,589 patients, or 75% of those in serious or critical condition, had not received a first dose.

The promising figures come as Israel enters the next exit phase from its third nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

On Sunday, much of the economy reopened, including restaurants, cafes, school grades 7-10 in low-to-medium infection areas, event venues, attractions and hotels.

More than 20 million in Britain get first COVID-19 vaccine dose


More than 20 million people across the United Kingdom have now received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot, data showed on Sunday as the country made more progress with Europe’s fastest vaccination programme.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the milestone represented “a huge national achievement and he paid testament to the country’s health, workers, volunteers and armed forces.

“I urge everyone to get the jab when called,” Johnson said. “Every jab makes a difference in our battle against COVID.”

Britain has suffered the highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe – it currently stands at 122,849 – and the heaviest economic shock among big rich countries, according to the headline measures of official data.

But the pace of its vaccination roll-out has raised the prospect of a gradual lifting of its current lockdown restrictions between now and the end of June.

On Sunday, finance minister Rishi Sunak promised to help the economy while the country remains under restrictions.

What is the plan to lift England’s lockdown?


8th March

Schools and care home visits back, all schools primary and secondary back

29th March

No longer legally required to stay at home.

Adult and children sports outside sports resume, tennis, golf will be allowed to be played too.

12th April

Self catering holiday within U.K. are allowed

Non essential retail open

Haircuts, beauty salons will be opening

Hotels & BB remain closed

Pubs & restaurants open for outdoor dining

Gyms back open

17th May

Indoor pubs and restaurants now allowed

Normal outdoor events I.e. football etc – 10k or 25% of capacity


Indoor events – 1k or 50% capacity

Wedding and Wakes up to 30 people (from 15)

21st June

No limit on wedding or funerals

Nightclubs open and max capacity at stadiums

All UK adults to be offered vaccine by end of July under dramatic acceleration of programme


Every adult will be offered a vaccine by the end of July, under a dramatic acceleration of the programme ahead of Monday’s “roadmap” to start lifting the lockdown.

The timetable for delivering a first dose has been brought forward from September – with Boris Johnson hinting the move will also help speed up the easing of some restrictions.

The new targets – for the whole of the UK – will also see a first jab offered to all over-50s by 15 April, instead of the end of that month, as the programme continues to run ahead of expectations.

The prime minister again insisted his roadmap would be “cautious”, but also raised hopes for an earlier softening of the lockdown, as he comes under fierce pressure from Conservative MPs.

“We will now aim to offer a jab to every adult by the end of July, helping us protect the most vulnerable sooner and take further steps to ease some of the restrictions in place,” he said.

Israel eases restrictions following vaccine success


Israel is easing lockdown restrictions as studies there reveal the Pfizer vaccine is 95.8% effective in preventing hospitalisations and death.

From Sunday, shops, libraries and museums can open but social distancing and masks are still required.

The health ministry says it is the first stage of returning to normal life.

Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world. More than 49% of people have received at least one dose.

The country entered its third lockdown on 27 December after a resurgence of the virus.

Under the easing measures, people are now able to enter shopping malls and tourist attractions such as zoos.

The Covid vaccines data that can pave way to freedom


Vaccines appear to cut Covid transmissions and infections by two-thirds according to the first “real world data” examining their impact, The Telegraph can disclose.

Key data being handed to Boris Johnson as he finalises a roadmap out of lockdown shows that just one dose of either the Oxford or Pfizer vaccines has such an effect on all age groups.

Mr Johnson and his scientific advisers are expected to examine key findings showing the impact of the jabs on transmission, infection, hospitalisations and deaths.

Whitehall sources said the studies would be a crucial part of deliberations over Britain’s route out of lockdown and that all the findings so far were “very encouraging”.

Separate data shows that Covid cases are falling most rapidly among the oldest, with care home outbreaks almost halving in a week.

The statistics appear to vindicate Britain’s strategy of vaccinating by age order, with cases among those over the age of 80 falling by 38 per cent in seven days.

Strong decline in coronavirus across England since January, React study shows


There has been a “strong decline” in levels of coronavirus infections in England since January, say scientists tracking the epidemic.

Imperial College London’s React study found infections have dropped by two-thirds across England since lockdown began, with an 80% fall in London.

But virus levels are still high, with one in 200 testing positive between 4 and 13 February.

This is similar to levels seen in late September 2020.

Although these are interim findings, based on more than 85,000 swab tests from randomly selected people, they suggest social distancing and restrictions are having an impact.

Prof Paul Elliott, director of the programme at Imperial, said the drop in infection rates was “really encouraging”.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to receive new data on the effect of vaccines on the spread of coronavirus, ahead of Monday’s publication of a roadmap for easing the lockdown in England.

Early data on vaccine effect on transmission ‘encouraging’, Zahawi says


Coronavirus vaccines are having a “really encouraging” impact on transmission, early data seen by the government suggests, but vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi warned the full data may not be ready for several weeks.

Boris Johnson is “hopeful” lockdown can be eased in the coming weeks, adding that vaccines are providing “grounds for confidence” that transmission is being reduced.

But he told Monday’s Downing Street press conference he was awaiting the “hard facts” before setting out the timetable for easing the lockdown.

While there is data on coronavirus case numbers, hospital admissions and deaths, the impact of the vaccine rollout on transmission is yet to be fully determined and may play a key role in how lockdown will be loosened.

Preliminary data comparing elderly people who have received the vaccine with those who have not is starting to show it is cutting hospital admissions and deaths, according to the Times.

The paper said ministers have already been given data showing that vaccines are cutting illness by about two-thirds, while a separate study suggests jabs are reducing transmission.