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Israel’s Omega Drill simulates outbreak of a new COVID-19 strain

Israel's Omega Drill simulates outbreak of a new COVID-19 strain.
Israel's Omega Drill simulates outbreak of a new COVID-19 strain.
Written by Harry Johnson

Praised as a world-first by Bennett’s office, the games look at preparedness for future restrictions on gatherings and movement, quarantine and lockdown policies, as well as testing oversight and warnings to be issued as a new variant develops. The drill also tests hospitals’ responses, as well as preparedness in other sectors.

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  • The simulation was announced on Twitter by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday.
  • Bennett has regularly referred to the ‘Omega strain’ to describe the next viral mutation that has yet to be discovered.
  • The drill led by Israel’s civil defense minister takes place at a situation room in the National Management Center in Jerusalem.

Israeli government has announced the launch of a nationwide practice exercise in a ‘combat rehearsal’ format to evaluate the country’s readiness for a potential outbreak of an unknown new strain of the COVID-19 virus.

Israel‘s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has often referred to the next viral mutation, yet to be discovered, as the ‘Omega strain’, announced the exercise appropriately dubbed the ‘Omega drill’ on Wednesday.

The drill led by Israel’s civil defense minister takes place at a situation room in the National Management Center in Jerusalem. The exercise puts the country’s institutions and government agencies through their paces to see if they would be able to cope in the face of a “new lethal COVID-19 variant.”

Praised as a world-first by Bennett’s office, the games look at preparedness for future restrictions on gatherings and movement, quarantine and lockdown policies, as well as testing oversight and warnings to be issued as a new variant develops. The drill also tests hospitals’ responses, as well as preparedness in other sectors.

“While in some places in the world, the coronavirus situation is deteriorating, Israel is safe and secure,” Bennett said. “To maintain this, and to continue our daily routines, we must keep our finger on the pulse and prepare for any scenario.”

The Prime Minister praised Israel’s response to the pandemic, proclaiming that the state “is in excellent shape” having beaten its fourth wave of infections, adding that it is “on the verge of leaving the Delta [variant] behind.”

Israel became one of the first countries to roll out a booster vaccine scheme in the summer, starting with its older population and working down through other age groups. Bennett praised the scheme, proclaiming that Israel was a “pioneer of the third dose” against COVID. 

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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