Health Ministry Director General Professor Nachman Ash on Tuesday expressed concern over the spread of the BA2 coronavirus subvariant.
"I am disturbed by the subvariant BA.2, which is continuing to spread," Prof. Ash told Kan Reshet Bet.
"Coronavirus is not really over - there are around 5,000 new cases, and that's a lot. I hope we do not see a change in the trends and a rise in the numbers in the coming period."
The BA.2 subvariant is a variant on the Omicron strain, and began spreading globally earlier this year. While it was initially reported to be more infectious than the original Omicron variant, Prof. Ash said last month that in his estimation, it will not cause an outbreak in Israel.
"I am saying this carefully, I hope very much that it won't," he said then. "There are countries where it did raise infections after there was already a drop, such as Denmark. On the other hand, there are countries where its effect is less, maybe because of the widescale spread of the original Omicron variant. It's not that we're not concerned, but I hope and estimate that it will not change the picture and we will see ourselves exiting this wave."