Naftali Bennett. (Kobi Richter/TPS) Kobi Richter/TPS
Naftali Bennett

“Within ten days there will be a significant rate of serious patients, but this is not a matter of fate. We can work to change the situation,” said Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.

By United with Israel Staff

The Prime Minister’s office and Israel’s Ministry of Health issued a joint statement on Wednesday tightening restrictions on citizens in an effort to limit and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The emergency regulations place stronger responsibility on employers to close non-essential shops and permit staff to work from home, in addition to further restricting public transpiration and the movement of individuals outside their homes.

Individuals may only leave home to purchase food, medicines, essential products and to receive essential services and medical treatment. They may also go to a clinic to donate blood. Only two persons who do not reside in the same household may be in a vehicle at one time.

People aged 60 and over are especially at-risk and must remain at home to avoid contracting the virus. Others may not be further than 100 meters from their residence. However, one may provide medical assistance to a person in distress or who needs assistance.

All synagogues must now be closed. Ten men may gather in an open space maintaining social distance for a prayer quorum. Small groups may attend funerals, weddings or circumcisions.

Public transportation is reduced by 25 percent and trains have come to a halt. Taxis may transport one passenger only or an additional accompanying person for medical treatment. All passengers must sit in the back and the windows must remain open.

Employers who feel their staff must work in the office are required to take each person’s temperature before entering the building. Should an employee have a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher (100.4 Fahrenheit), they must be sent home.

Employees who are crucial to the workplace must maintain a distance of at least two meters between each other.

While the new regulations were slated to go into effect on Wednesday at 5:00 pm, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on later Wednesday evening, “If we do not see an immediate improvement in the trend, there will be no alternative but to impose a complete lockdown, except for essential needs such as food and medicines. This is a matter of a few days. We are making all of the requisite preparations – logistical and legal.”

As of Wednesday, Israel had 2,170 confirmed cases of coronavirus. It is crucial for all citizens to adhere to tightening regulations in order to combat the illness.

“We are in accelerated growth in patients in serious condition, the number of positive tests is increasing,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said during a virtual Facebook press conference where he answered viewers’ questions.

“Severe morbidity levels are approaching. Within ten days there will be a significant rate of serious patients, but this is not a matter of fate. We can work to change the situation,” he added.



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