A prominent Israeli anti-vaccine activist who claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic was a hoax, has died after catching the coronavirus.

Hau Shaulian, 57, reportedly died at the Wolfson Medical Centre in Jerusalem on Monday morning, just hours after he posted a final message to his Facebook followers on Saturday that his condition was "extremely critical", reported Newsweek.

"Dear friends. My situation is extremely critical. I have no oxygen and can't stabilize.

"It took me about an hour to figure out who I am. Where am I and what am I doing here. Lack of oxygen is a terrible thing," he had written on Facebook, along with a photo of himself hooked on to a ventilator.

Prior to his death, Shaulian had claimed that there was no pandemic, and that the vaccine was "unnecessary and dangerous". He had also called on his supporters to shun the face mask, and oppose Israel's "Green Pass" scheme that only allows the fully vaccinated, and those who have tested negative for the virus, to visit outdoor spaces.

After he fell ill last week, Shaulian reportedly claimed that the police had poisoned him after he was arrested during a protest against the scheme.

To date, 61 percent of the Israeli population has been fully vaccinated, but the emergence of the Delta variant has driven up the cases again. The country has now embarked on a drive to administer booster doses of the vaccine.

Source: Newsweek
Photo source: Harian Metro, theconversation.com