Israel allows food stores to sell Covid self-test kits

Tel Aviv: The Israeli Health Ministry has permitted the food stores across the country to sell rapid COVID-19 test kits in the hope of increasing availability and lowering prices.

So far, home antigen test kits were been allowed to be sold in pharmacies, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to new quarantine rules in Israel, the vaccinated and recovered people under the age of 60 who had been exposed to a COVUD-19 patient can take a rapid home test, and will not have to enter quarantine if they receive a negative result.

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The development comes as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has warned that 2 million to 4 million Israelis are predicted to be infected with coronavirus during the current outbreak mainly caused by the highly infectious Omicron variant.

“Information presented at a cabinet meeting indicates that in Israel, overall 2-4 million citizens will be infected in the current wave,” he said on Sunday.

Addressing a wide public criticism of the government’s complicated and frequently changing restrictions, Bennett explained that Omicron is “contiguous to an extent we did not know”, saying the restrictions have been frequently updated to adapt to the fast spread of Omicron.

Bennett has led a policy based on keeping the economy open while aggressively promoting vaccination.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Israel, with a population of 9.45 million, has increased to 1,495,577, while the death toll stood at 8,265.

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