Israel's Health Ministry on Wednesday morning reported two cases of a mixed Omicron subvariant in arrivals at Ben Gurion International Airport.
The subvariant is a mix of the original Omicron variant and its subvariant BA.2. It is a new subvariant which is thus far unknown around the world, and was found thanks to the PCR test all those arriving in Israel are required to undergo.
Both of the infected individuals are suffering mild symptoms, including fever, headaches, and muscle aches, and neither has required special medical care, the Ministry added.
Sources in the healthcare system estimate that currently, Israel is not at the start of a sixth wave of infections.
Top Health Ministry officials believe that the coronavirus infection rate will continue to climb, alongside the infection coefficient which is now 0.91. They also estimate that the virus will begin to spread again, especially following the Purim parties which will take place in the next few days.
Kan News reported that Ministry officials believe there is widespread protection in the Israeli population, which will prevent a largescale outbreak at this point in time. Researchers estimate that approximately half of Israel's population - four million people - contracted coronavirus in the past few months. It is therefore believed that only those who have not yet been infected will be affected by the current outbreak, since there are no known new variants which pose a risk to those who have acquired temporary immunity to the virus.
On Wednesday, Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will hold a meeting with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and top healthcare officials, to discuss on the rise in the infection statistics.