Occupied Palestine (QNN)- A new Israeli coronavirus mutation has been discovered in the occupation state of ‘Israel’, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.
“The Israeli variant appears in samples from July but is disappearing and the evidence for it is dwindling,” Israeli Health Ministry said in a statement, two days after scientists from Israel’s Central Virology Laboratory posted a paper about the mutation on MedRxiv, Jerusalem Post said.
In the report, however, it says that the strain was identified in clinical samples for the first time in November 2020 and in wastewater sequencing a month before.
In October 2020, it was found at a 5% frequency in wastewater samples from Rahat city.
In November, the strain was discovered at a frequency of 98% in Netanya and Haifa, The Jerusalem Post reported.
So far, some 181 people are known to have been infected with the mutation, according to the paper.
The British variant remains the dominant strain in the occupation state.
The strain has not been associated with higher infection rates nor does it appear to cause more serious illness.
Furthermore, the Pfizer vaccine appears effective against it.
The variant was discovered by the Central Virology Laboratory at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, during routine genetic sequencing.
The ministry said it has “no clinical or epidemiological significance.”
“There is nothing new and nothing worrying here,” Prof. Eyal Leshem, director of Sheba’s Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Diseases, told The Jerusalem Post.
More than 5.2 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the vaccine, among them more than 4.7 million who have received both doses, according to Israeli Health Ministry.
Israeli coronavirus death toll stands at 6,188.
However, Palestinian Health Ministry said today that a total of 52,449 people in the occupied West Bank have been vaccinated against coronavirus, and 21,515 people in the besieged Gaza Strip, after ‘Israel’ excluded the nearly 5 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, under its military occupation, from COVID-19 vaccination.
Several rights groups have called on ‘Israel’ to give the Palestinians access to the vaccine, as it is obligated to do so as an occupying power.
Under the fourth Geneva Convention, ‘Israel’, as an occupying power, is obligated to provide Palestinians with the vaccines, as the occupying forces are responsible for providing healthcare to the population of the occupied area.
Most states as well as the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, consider ‘Israel’ to be an occupying power.
To date, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, there have been nearly 2868 deaths related to COVID-19 among Palestinians in the OPT since the beginning of the pandemic, 610 of them in the Gaza strip.
(Source / 30.03.2021)