Israel reports record daily COVID-19 cases

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Israel on Tuesday recorded its highest daily coronavirus case tally of nearly 11,000 new infections, amid a surge caused by the highly transmissible delta variant as schools prepare to re-open.

The previous high came on January 18, with 10,118 cases.

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Despite Tuesday’s 10,947 confirmed cases, Israel is pressing ahead with plans to fully open its school system on Wednesday as it tries to boost vaccination rates.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a critic of the cycle of lockdowns implemented by his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, has maintained that the surge can be controlled through inoculation and protective measures such as masks.

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His government has encouraged all residents aged 12 and above to get a third get jab of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine.

About 60 percent of Israel’s 9.3 million residents have received two shots of the vaccine, including 80 percent of adults.

Israel was in December one of the first countries to launch a national vaccination campaign, which brought daily infections down to a trickle and allowed the lifting in June of nearly all pandemic restrictions.

Several measures have since been reimposed, including in-door mask wearing, limits on gatherings and the need to present proof of vaccination for entry to certain facilities.

Bennett has said that the rollout of the booster shot program was showing results, notably by restricting the rise in the of hospitalizations.

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