Coronavirus test
Coronavirus test iStock

As of Saturday night, one case of the new Omicron variant has been positively identified in Israel, and seven other cases are suspected.

The verified case is a person who returned from Malawi.

Of the other seven, for whom full sequencing results have not yet been received, four of them were unvaccinated and three were vaccinated. Those who were unvaccinated had recovered from COVID-19 over six months ago. Those who were vaccinated had received only two doses, the second of which they received over six months ago.

In addition, four of the suspected cases had traveled abroad recently, while the other three had not.

The Health Ministry representatives participating in Saturday night's Coronavirus Cabinet meeting requested that everyone returning from abroad be required to quarantine upon their return to Israel: Those who are unvaccinated will be required to quarantine seven days (if they test negative upon arrival and again on day 7), while those who are recently recovered or are fully vaccinated would be required to quarantine for three days.

On Saturday, Deputy Defense Minister Alon Schuster (Blue and White) said the IDF's Home Front Command is working to locate 800 Israelis who may have been exposed to the new variant.

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