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Media reports in India on Friday claimed that two cases of a new coronavirus variant had been reported in Israel. They said that the new variant is a combination of BA.1 or Omicron and BA.2, a sub-variant of Omicron. For this, most of the reports cited the Israeli daily Haaretz.
The reports also said that, according to Israel's health ministry, the patients had symptoms like fever, headache, and muscle aches. However, they did not require any specialised medical care. The patients, reportedly a couple in their 30s, most likely contracted the infection from their infant.
Has Israel found two cases of a new Covid variant?
In India, several media outlets reported the news on March 17, 2023. However, the Haaretz report that is being quoted is from March 16, 2022. This makes the news of a new variant in Israel false. Business Standard tried to find an official statement from Israel's health ministry but could not find it anywhere.
In fact, according to the country's rules, foreigners travelling to Israel do not need to be quarantined. The passengers even do not need a Covid-19 test before arriving in Israel.
As of March 17, data from John Hopkins University shows that new cases in Israel have been falling 8 per cent per week. Covid-related deaths have been falling by 26 per cent per week.
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First Published: Fri, March 17 2023. 16:35 IST
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