We have written before about SaNOtize nasal spray and its claims of 99.9% effectivenesss in killing coronavirus. The great news from the past week is that it has now begun production in Israel and the company founder Dr Gilly Regev has reiterated the point that this can be a life-saver, particularly in poorer countries where people may find it difficult to access vaccines.
The number of positive tests being carried out has fallen yet again, to just 1.6%, which is the lowest since November and the number of seriously ill people is at its lowest since December.
This Passover, there is more than one exodus on Israelis' minds. Last year may have been the first in more than 3000 years that the entire Jewish population worldwide was being told to spend Passover indoors to be safe from a plague, and this time Israelis are celebrating a return to near-normalcy with most restrictions on movement being removed. Incidentally, for those who have been celebrating the Seder on their own, Rabbi YY Jacobson has reminded us of the example of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who for decades celebrated the Seder privately with his wife each year. After the death of his wife, the Rebbe kept the Seder on his own each year: an amazing example of his simplicity and humility. If you haven't discovered Rabbi Jacobson's Youtube channel yet, you are missing a treat.
Israel has now vaccinated more than 100,000 Arabs who travel from the West Bank to work in Israel, as well as donating more than 5000 vaccinations to the Palestinian Authority. On Thursday, a group of left-wing NGOs petitioned the High Court to force the Israeli government to commit to vaccinating all in the disputed territories, despite the legal obligation under the Oslo Accords resting with the Palestinian Authority. With infection rates finally in decline, Israel has fallen again to 19th place for the number of coronavirus tests per million people (1,461,821), three places below the UK (1,783,124). This compares to the disputed territories in 91st place (292,070).
Israel has risen to 55th place for deaths per million people (672 per million). The UK fell to 9th place with 1,858 deaths per million, still far higher than Israel: a testament to the heroes of Magen David Adom and all those involved in the Israeli health system. Also impressive is the statistic for the disputed territories, with only 497 deaths per million people but rising to 67th place in the list. Both Israelis and Palestinians are therefore much less likely to die of Covid-19 than the frequency of confirmed cases would suggest, whereas people in the UK are much more likely to die.