By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU
Israel Government has revealed a major program to help African Countries to deal with COVID 19 pandemic, TOP AFRICA NEWS has learnt from a top diplomat in the Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Speaking to the Media on Monday, Ambassador Daniel Meron from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that this year 2022 Israel through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is going to lead an operation of sharing vaccines with other countries, mainly in Africa where more than 1 million vaccines will be distributed.
“This is a major operation for us. We’re pleased to work together with the international community on this, we will also have a major operation of helping with a medical situation in many countries. In the field of COVID 19.” Ambassador Daniel said.
“We have a big programme that we are going to launch soon, which will cover different countries. And it’s quite a massive programme. And we will increase the capabilities of countries in their way to fight the pandemic.” He added.
Ambassador Daniel also mentions that through the Israeli foreign aid branch which is Mashav belonging to the foreign ministry, has recently distributed more than 80 packages of assistance around the world to more than 40 countries, which includes syringes, protective gear, pharmaceuticals, etc.
“We did that for countries to deal with the pandemic and we’re looking for more and more ways where we could be involved internationally, cooperating with other countries and helping them deal with this situation.” Ambassador Daniel explains.
Dr. Ashel Salmon, Head of the International Relations Department at the Israel Ministry of Health observed that “two years now into COVID is more than enough.” However, he noted that there is a need to tighten operations against the pandemic.
Dr. Ashel Salmon noted that based on the current indications, Hospitals are going to be overwhelmed with patients in three weeks from now.
“We followed up very closely what is happening first in South Africa, but then in Europe, mostly the UK, but other countries you could see a massive spread of Omicron.” He said.
In the meantime, it seems that at this point Israel needs to change its testing system.
Dr. Ashel explains that “It’s not because it was wrong or it is better to do it the way we’re doing it now, but rather the overwhelming numbers of individuals trying to get a PCR test. And we did pass 200,000 tests last week for just above 9 million residents.”
“We are now allowing massive home-based antigen testing.” Dr. Ashel said.
However, He adds that “There are many limitations to this approach. First of all, it’s less accurate. Second of all, many people tend not to report when they’re positive. From the inherent point of view antigen is much less accurate than PCR but that is reality and that what we are doing that is true for the general population. “
Regarding the Vaccination program, Dr. Ashel explained that since the outbreak of COVID 19 and the time of Vaccine, Israel started with vulnerable groups from 60 years old and above before the program expanded to the whole population.
Will Israelis need more boost for the future? Responding to this question, Dr. Ashel said that “It’s a great question, for how often would Israelis need to boost in the future.”
“I think it’s not feasible to have an injection more than once a year. And from an optimistic point of view, I think it should be combined with the flu shot every autumn. If we get to that point, it would be enough, I think, is very good news for all of us.” He said.341