Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90) Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
CORONAVIRUS

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“This is life and death,” warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night, introducing a number of new restrictions on the nation.

By United with Israel Staff

Just a day after addressing the nation on live television, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to the airwaves again on Tuesday night to announce what some have described as a “limited lockdown.”

Both Netanyahu and Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Health Moshe Bar Siman Tov stressed on Tuesday that Israelis will pay a high price if they don’t seize the opportunity to limit the virus’ impact by avoiding parks, beaches, and visits to elderly relatives.

“We prefer [to fight the virus] without enforcement,” said Siman Tov, warning that this option remains a very real possibility.

Netanyahu announced a significant increase in the number of coronavirus tests available daily to a minimum of 3,000, the largest number of daily tests in any country around the globe.

Israel is also significantly expanding hospitals’ capability to treat the coronavirus, adding another 1,000 artificial respirators to medical facilities.

On Monday, the prime minister announced that the private sector will be required to reduce the number of employees coming to the workplace by 70 percent through a shift system, working from home, or other methods, while

Meanwhile, Israel’s public sector is transitioning to “emergency footing” due to the COVID-19 crisis, with up to 80 percent of government and local authority employees will go on leave from Wednesday until after Passover, which ends on April 15.

JNS contributed to this report.