Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met health experts on Friday to discuss how best to respond to a new variant of the coronavirus that has been detected in South Africa that he said was more contagious than the Delta strain.
“We are currently on the verge of a state of emergency,” Bennett said, according to a statement from his office. “Our main principle is to act fast, strong and now.”
Israel has reported one case of the new strain in a traveller returning from Malawi.
Israel announced on Thursday it was barring its citizens from travelling to southern Africa and banning the entry of foreigners from the region.