A leading immunologist says that Israel can remain in control of the delta coronavirus variant. However, he also added that if the country doesn’t take action rapidly, it will need “a lake full of water instead of a bucket to put out the fire.”
Professor Cyrille Cohen of Bar Ilan University said in an interview with the Times of Israel:
“The numbers of infections are not going down, so we will eventually have a few hundred people in critical care if we don’t stop the spread. That’s the trajectory. But it can be stopped.”
The comment came after the country registered 855 new cases of the novel variant on Thursday, and as the number of active cases neared 5,800, the highest tally since April.
The total number of seriously ill citizens reached 52.
Nachman Ash, the new director-general of the Health Ministry, said that a lockdown might be in store for the High Holiday season this September.
Cohen also mentioned that lockdown shouldn’t be required. The country only has to adjust somehow the transmission rates (dubbed the R-value, correspondent for the number of individuals each virus carrier infects typically), which is doable with an adequate strategy.
You don’t need a lockdown, you just need to get the R under one, and it’s not too much effort,” said Cohen.
Cohen looked into the complexity of Delta dynamics and suggested that the infection may leave individuals stronger for an uncertain future, as long as they don’t experience bad symptoms, even if they contact the ultra-infectious strain.
Generally speaking, vaccinated individuals have a much better chance of not being severely ill with delta than unvaccinated people.