“there are no excess deaths,” said Alroy-Preis. “There is no increase in the number of deaths in the population.” Alroy-Preis said that the MoH is looking into each case and that the cause of death is not necessarily related to the virus. “We are seeing a lot of cases of people that had the virus and there is no direct connection between the virus and the cause of death,” she said. “What we know is that the virus affects the heart and the blood vessels, but it is not necessarily the cause of death.” The Knesset has approved an extension of special powers for the Ministry of Health (MoH) to deal with COVID-19 for one more year until Feb. 15, 2024. The extension of the so-called Great Coronavirus Law was necessary due to an increase in the circulation of Omicron sub-strains, which have high infectivity compared to previous strains, as well as trends in morbidity around the world, particularly in China. The bill was passed with a vote of 51-37 and allows the government the authority to declare a “special health situation” but not the authority to declare “a state of emergency” as it previously allowed. The government can also require the operator of an aircraft or vessel to force passengers to present a negative test result before boarding the vessel on their way to or from Israel, as well as the obligation to collect information from the passengers that will enable the government to contact them if they are found to be infected. However, the law does not allow the government to impose a general lockdown; set limits on gatherings and events; close businesses and educational and welfare institutions; impose isolation in hotels; declare restricted areas or special tourist areas; and the requirement to present a test or a green passport when entering public places. Technological supervision, where a user who is in quarantine, if they agree, clicks a link that discloses their location in real-time, providing proof of compliance with quarantine requirements, is still allowed. The Ministry of Health has also stated that there is no increase in the number of deaths in the population and that the cause of death is not necessarily related to the virus.