Israeli PM warns of state of emergency due to new COVID-19 variant

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met health experts on Friday to discuss how best to respond to a new variant of the coronavirus that has been detected in South Africa that he said was more contagious than the delta strain.

“We are currently on the verge of a state of emergency,” Bennett said, according to a statement from his office. “Our main principle is to act fast, strong and now.”

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Israel has reported one case of the new strain in a traveler returning from Malawi.

Israel announced on Thursday it was barring its citizens from traveling to southern Africa and banning the entry of foreigners from the region.

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