Israel restricted its COVID-19 “green pass” on Sunday to allow only those who have received a vaccine booster measure or recently recuperated from coronavirus to go into indoor venues.
Technical problems hamstrung the Health Ministry’s rollout of the updated green pass — a kind of digital vaccination passport — as millions of Israelis tried to re-issue digital documentation that would allow entry to shops, restaurants, cultural events, gyms and other indoor venues.
Under Sunday’s new guidelines, people eligible for a green pass must have received a booster shot. Those who have received two vaccine doses, or those who have recovered from coronavirus, are only eligible for six months after the date of their vaccination or recovery.
The new criteria average that nearly two million people will lose their vaccination passport in the coming days. The government’s advisory cabinet on coronavirus was set to convene Sunday to discuss existing restrictions.
Scores of Israelis staged displays around the country in protest of the green pass system, with convoys of cars clogging morning commutes as many Israelis returned to work Sunday after September’s Jewish High Holidays. Opponents of the system said it is a form of forced vaccination.
“We are totally against any forced vaccinations, or any forced medications, and we are totally against doing anything to our children and grandchildren that we don’t agree with,” said Sarah Felt, who protested along the main highway connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Israel raced out of the gate early this year to vaccinate most of its adult population after remarkable a deal with Pfizer to trade medical data in exchange for a steady supply of doses.
This summer, Israel launched an aggressive booster campaign to shore up waning vaccine efficacy in its population. Over 60 per cent of Israel’s population has received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and nearly 3.5 million of Israel’s 9.3 million citizens have received a booster measure of the vaccine. But at the minimum two million more have received just two doses, and many will lose the privileges bestowed by the green pass.
Recent months have seen a surge in new situations of coronavirus in Israel. As of Sunday, over 70 per cent of the 588 serious COVID-19 situations in Israeli hospitals were unvaccinated individuals, according to Health Ministry data.
The ministry issued a statement Sunday morning that because of heavy traffic on its green pass website and app, before existing certificates would be valid in the coming few days.
What’s happening across Canada
The first members of a Canadian Forces medical team deploying to Alberta will arrive on Monday to begin planning sustain for the province’s strained health-care workers.
Up to eight CAF basic care nurses are expected arrive to assist the province’s intensive care units, according to a statement issued by Public Safety Canada. It said up to 20 medical professionals from the Canadian Red Cross will also be arriving.
WATCH | Canadian military began planning COVID-19 response in January 2020:
Hospitals in Alberta, in addition as Saskatchewan, have been struggling to keep up with the fourth wave of COVID-19.
To avoid a similar fate, Manitoba is laying down more rules for people who’ve chosen not to get vaccinated. Starting Tuesday, there will be limits on gathering sizes, if just one person in that group has chosen to not be vaccinated.
In southern Manitoba, where the immunization rate is the lowest and the infection rate the highest, store capacities will drop to 50 per cent.
The P.E.I. government, meanwhile, is planning to follow the rule of a growing number of other provinces by introducing its Vax Pass on Tuesday. Starting as a paper document, the certification will, by the end of October, utilize a scannable QR code to confirm someone’s vaccination position.
WATCH | Health-care systems in Alta., Sask. are ‘broken,’ doctors say:
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday morning, more than 234.6 million situations of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus-tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.7 million.
In the Asia-Pacific vicinity, Air New Zealand has announced it is requiring all international travelers to be fully vaccinated from Feb. 1, 2022. The airline said people aged 18 and older would need to show proof of vaccination, unless they had medical reasons for not being inoculated.
In Africa, the far away Ugandan district of Gulu is currently a COVID-19 hot identify in the East African country. Efforts to spread vaccines have largely stalled there, hampered by hesitancy in addition as problems with refrigeration, as the vicinity is plagued by repeated and sudden strength failures.
In Europe, more than 5,000 people protested Saturday in Romania’s capital of Bucharest to reject upcoming measures used by authorities to combat an upsetting surge of infections. The new restrictions, expected to take effect in the next few days, will require people to use masks in public and make shops close at 10 p.m. local time. Restaurants will keep open at half-capacity but only for people with COVID-19 passes.
In the Americas, Alaska on Saturday activated emergency crisis protocols that allow 20 health-care facilities to ration care if needed as the state recorded the country’s worst COVID-19 diagnosis rates in recent days.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, one person in every 84 in Alaska was diagnosed with COVID-19 from Sept. 22 to 29. The next highest rate was one in every 164 people in West Virginia.
Statewide, 60 per cent of eligible Alaskans are fully vaccinated.
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