Israel reports first death due to Omicron variant of COVID-19

Jerusalem: Israeli health officials are reporting what is believed to be the country’s first death from the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Soroka Hospital, located in the southern city of Beersheba, said a man in his 60s died Monday, two weeks after he was hospitalised.

It said the man had suffered from pre-existing health issues but gave no further details.

Israel has greatly restricted air traffic in and out of the country and is considering a series of restrictions on the public to prevent the spread of the highly contagious variant.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that he was waiting impatiently for approval from health authorities to approve a fourth booster shot for older citizens and people with serious illnesses.

Israel was one of the first countries to widely vaccinate its population early this year and became the first to offer boosters over the summer.

Israel, a country of 9.3 million people, has reported over 8,200 deaths from COVID-19.