Israel to hold COVID-19 ‘war games’ on Thursday – Community News
Covid-19

Israel to hold COVID-19 ‘war games’ on Thursday

Israel will hold a national exercise on Thursday to evaluate how prepared it is for the next COVID-19 outbreak, the prime minister’s cabinet said.

The exercise, which the PMO said will be held in the form of a “war game,” has been dubbed the “Omega Exercise.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has frequently referred to the “Omega strain”, the next variant of COVD-19 that has not yet been discovered.

“The State of Israel is in excellent shape, we have defeated the fourth wave and we are about to leave the Delta behind,” the prime minister said. “At the same time, we are always looking to the future.”

Although the health ministry reported only 475 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and there are fewer than 150 serious patients, health experts have said a new wave could emerge sometime in the winter. Israel has opened up to individual vaccinated tourists and is rolling out an overview for visitors who have had just two injections of the vaccine, which could also lead to new variants entering the country.

    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the coronavirus cabinet meeting, October 3, 2021. (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the coronavirus cabinet meeting, October 3, 2021. (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

The exercise involves representation of senior officials and teams from all government ministries and sectors. It will evaluate preparedness in the areas of health, legal, economic, internal security, travel and communication and will look at specific policies for dealing with meetings, quarantine, events, tourism and more.

The PMO said the exercise will be led by Brigadier General of Defense (Res.) Moshe Edri and will be held at the National Management Center in Jerusalem. It will be attended by directors of ministries and representatives of professional bodies, including top officials from the Ministry of Health and representatives of the National Security Council, the IDF and the Home Front Command.

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