COVID-19: After UAE, Israel signs on green travel corridor with Bahrain

*Number of serious patients drops below 300. *Two weeks after the beginning of the Green Class outline, number of schoolchildren in isolation lower by over 35%.

 Empty beds in the intensive care unit at the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on October 14, 2021. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Empty beds in the intensive care unit at the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on October 14, 2021.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Israel and Bahrain signed an agreement for mutual recognition of their corona vaccination certificates and green passes, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced on Monday.

“After signing with the UAE, we have also opened a green corridor to Bahrain,” Horowitz tweeted. “With my colleague the Bahraini Health Minister I have now signed an agreement on mutual recognition of vaccine certificates and green passes. Towards the opening of tourism, we continue to build more and more bridges of health between Israel and the world.”

The new agreement came a day after a similar deal was also reached with the UAE and ahead of the general reopening of the country’s borders, set to occur on November 1.

According to the plan presented by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday, for visitors to be considered protected from the virus in order to be eligible to enter, they will need to present proof of the same criteria set for Israelis.

These include recovered or inoculated with two doses in the previous six months, recovered with an additional shot, or vaccinated twice with a booster. The recognition of health documents will help to facilitate the process.

 Shaare Zedek hospital team members wearing safety gear as they work in the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on September 23, 2021.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Shaare Zedek hospital team members wearing safety gear as they work in the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on September 23, 2021. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Exactly 810 Israelis tested positive for COVID on Sunday, out of 80,684 tests processed, or just under 1%. The average number of daily cases has been constantly decreasing for weeks – it stood at less than 1,000 on Monday, after reaching almost 5,800 at the end of September.

The number of daily deaths has also been dropping. Only one fatality was reported on Sunday and two on Saturday, while in the past three months the average has been 18 people succumbing to the virus every day.

Simultaneously, the vaccination drive has also been drastically slowing down, with no more than 15,000-16,000 vaccines administered per day compared with several dozens of thousands each day.

More than 6,220,000 Israelis have received their first COVID vaccine dose, 5,715,000 their second and 3,907,000 their third.

Israel currently has 12,000 active cases, over half of whom are schoolchildren.

Two weeks after the beginning of the Green Class program, the number of students in quarantine dropped from 80,000 to 50,000.

Under the outline, only those who have been identified as virus carriers have to quarantine, while those who are exposed can continue to attend learning in person, provided that they get a negative PCR test after coming in contact with someone infected, and then undergo a rapid test every day for seven days followed by a second PCR test.

The Green Class plan is currently being applied in preschools and schools in areas labeled as green and yellow under the Health Ministry’s Traffic Light framework, which currently includes about 90% of Israel’s population.

Also on Monday, the number of serious corona patients dropped to 279, marking the lowest figure since the beginning of August, Health Ministry data showed.

During the fourth wave, the number reached a peak of 766 and remained above 700 for several days.

Of the patients in serious condition, 150 were on ventilators, down from over 200 at the peak of the wave.