Revellers in Cologne must show proof of vaccination to access some areas at the German carnival. (EPA)

Coronavirus crisis: Israeli PM Naftali Bennett and senior aides hole up in nuclear bunker for ‘next war’

Israeli chiefs have holed up in a nuclear bunker to simulate the outbreak of a vaccine-resistant COVID-19 variant to which children are vulnerable, describing the eventuality as “the next war”.

Built more than a decade ago amid fears surrounding Iran’s nuclear program and missile exchanges with Lebanon and Gaza, the nuclear command bunker is now being used for a crisis the country wasn’t anticipating – a pandemic war.

While Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he was confident Israel could defeat its viral enemy, it was essential it prepare for future COVID strains, rather than focus on those of the past.

“We have proven that with proper management, it is possible to beat the pandemic. Just like the Delta strain broke out violently, other, even more deadly and more infectious strains could come. Therefore, Israel needs to be prepared,” Mr Bennett said.

“The first lesson we are learning in the midst national pandemic exercise is that we have to prepare for the next war and not the previous war.”

The Prime Minister and his top aides are using the bunker as a pseudo command centre to simulate the outbreak of a new, lethal strain which – unlike COVID strains to date – significantly affects children.

Read the article by Miriam Fisher in The West Australian.