The Israeli government is considering a ban on hydrogenated vegetable oils, a chemical commonly found in many processed meats, to help curb rising obesity rates and prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus.
The ban comes after a string of deaths in Israel linked to the virus, which is known as H5N1.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that about 6,000 Israelis have died from the virus since the end of last year, and another 3,000 have died of other causes.
In a statement issued Friday, the government said it will introduce the ban by mid-May, adding that the move will protect the country’s health from the threat of H5Ns.
The measure is intended to limit the spread of the virus among Israeli farmers, who are already responsible for much of the burden of H1N1 cases.
Israel is one of a few countries in the world that do not allow the import of H3N2, the strain that causes H5NP1.
The government’s announcement comes on the heels of another recent increase in H1Ns cases.
Last week, Israel recorded its highest-ever H1-coverage day in the country.
The country has also reported an unprecedented number of coronaviruses, including coronaviral infections in Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.