Live Updates: Israel’s Death Because of Delta, Not Omicron | Economic news

TEL AVIV, Israel – An Israeli hospital has said that a man who died from the omicron variant of the coronavirus had the delta variant.

Israeli health officials reported the death earlier this week. It would have been the country’s first omicron victim.

Soroka Hospital, located in the southern city of Beersheba, said Thursday that final test results from Israel’s Health Ministry indicated the man was infected with the delta.

Israel has identified 341 cases of omicron. It has severely restricted air traffic inside and outside the country and imposes a series of public restrictions to prevent the spread of the highly contagious variant.

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The director of the Ministry of Health is also considering whether to administer a second booster to groups at risk, following a recommendation from a medical advisory group.

Israel, a country of 9.3 million people, has reported more than 8,200 deaths from COVID-19 during the pandemic.


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Go to for updates throughout the day.


BEIJING – China is stepping up efforts to control new virus outbreaks with a lockdown of 13 million residents in the northern city of Xi’an following a peak in coronavirus cases.

The move comes just weeks before the country will host the Winter Olympics in Beijing, about 1,000 kilometers (6,210 miles) to the west.

It was not known whether the virus was the newer omicron variant or the much more common delta. China has only recorded seven cases of omicron – four in the southern manufacturing center of Guangzhou, two in the southern city of Changsha and one in the northern port of Tianjin.

China has also faced a large outbreak in several cities in eastern Zhejiang province, near Shanghai, although isolation measures have been more targeted there.

Authorities have adopted strict pandemic control measures as part of their policy to zero new transmissions to zero, resulting in frequent blockages, universal masking and mass testing. While the policy has not been entirely successful while causing massive disruption to travel and trade, Beijing credits it with largely containing the spread of the virus.

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has set a new record for daily deaths from COVID-19 as it struggles to resolve a shortage of hospital beds amid weeks of increasing cases.

Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Thursday that 109 people had died in the past 24 hours. This brought the total number of deaths from a pandemic in the country to 5,015.

The agency has reported 6,919 new cases of the coronavirus, the vast majority of them involving the delta variant.

Infections have increased after South Korea significantly eased its pandemic restrictions in early November as part of its efforts to restore normality before the pandemic. Alarmed by the peak, health officials on Saturday reinstated the country’s strictest distancing rules, such as a four-person cap for private gatherings and a 9 p.m. curfew for restaurants and cafes.

SYDNEY – Australia reports a major spike in coronavirus infections a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected blockages or mask warrants to slow the spread of the omicron variant.

The country’s most populous state, New South Wales, on Thursday recorded 5,715 new cases. That was down from 3,763 a day earlier and almost as much as those recorded across Australia on Wednesday.

There were 347 people in NSW hospitals, up from 302 the day before, and 45 in intensive care units, up from 40.

Victoria state also saw a sharp increase, reporting 2,005 new infections on Thursday.

Morrison called a Cabinet meeting with leaders of Australian states and territories on Wednesday, but ruled out lockdowns.

WASHINGTON – The United States Supreme Court has said it will hold a special session to assess the challenges of two Biden administration policies covering vaccine needs for millions of workers, policies that affect large employers and workers of health.

The High Court’s announcement that it will hear arguments in cases on January 7, an extraordinarily fast timeline, comes amid rising coronavirus infections. The court had not planned to hear the cases again until January 10.

A three-judge panel from the U.S. 6th Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 2-1 last week that the vaccine or testing regimen for workers at large companies could go into effect. The plan, which was due to go into effect on Jan.4, requires workers at large companies to be vaccinated or wear face masks and get tested weekly.

The High Court will also hear arguments over a rule released Nov. 5 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid that applies to a wide range of health care providers who receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding. It demands that their workers be fully vaccinated by January 4. I

MONTREAL – The premier of Quebec has said that starting Boxing Day, gatherings inside homes will be limited to six people or two family bubbles.

Restaurants are already operating at half capacity and are due to close at 10 p.m., and on December 26, they will also have to limit table groups to six people or two families.

Prime Minister François Legault says the “exponential” increase in coronavirus infections over the past week continues. He says Quebec will report about 9,000 new cases by Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the French-speaking Canadian province brutally closed bars, gyms and schools and warned that new restrictions could arrive pending projections on the spread of the virus and its impact on hospitalizations.

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