On the road from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, behind the sickness fund building, there is still a white plastic tent housing a table and a few chairs. She is deserted. Further up towards the city center, near the large theatre, the center referenced on the site of the Ministry of Health has already been dismantled. The barnums installed at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic have disappeared. From now on, we will be tested in the dispensaries of the health insurance funds or in hospitals.
“The usefulness of these centers has diminishedexplains Professor Cyrille Cohen, director of the immunotherapy laboratory at Bar-Ilan University, one of the coronavirus specialists in Israel. In general, the State of Israel says: we have passed a course. The numbers are fairly stable. We mainly follow indicators such as the number of seriously ill patients in hospitals, which is always between 100 and 150. And that’s been several months. So, for us, today, there is no urgency to test the entire population.
Vaccination, exposure, treatment: the pillars of success
Government adviser on vaccination, Professor Cyrille Cohen explains how Israel got here. “The first pillar was vaccination. In about two to three months, we vaccinated 50% of the population, which prevents serious forms. The second pillar is obviously natural exposure. The third mainstay are the treatments, in particular Paxlovid, which allows us to unclog our hospitals and to have a way of looking at the future in a more positive way, although we are always at the mercy of a new variant.
The future is from January 31. The Covid will then be considered as an epidemic virus comparable to the flu. “People will no longer be forced into isolation if they test positive. We feel that we are with this virus as with other viruses. Today, it’s like having the flu. But I’m still hesitant to compare because there are still some things that worry us with the Covid or the long Covids. Unfortunately, we still see until today sequelae in some people and that is a subject of research that will keep us busy for years to come.” This is why Israel remains vigilant: any traveler arriving from China must present a negative test.