Health Ministry to Netanyahu: Shut down country for week

Unnamed ministers who attended cabinet meeting say health minister demanding prime minister totally shut down Israel for a week to slow coronavirus infection rate.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Cabinet ministers who attended a meeting on the expansion of restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus said Monday that the Ministry of Health is calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to impose a full closure on Israel for at least one week, Channel 13 news reported.

The closure would prevent all citizens from leaving their homes except for the purpose of getting food and medicine, leaving only those designated as essential workers to be able to travel to their jobs.

According to the unnamed officials, the health ministry wants a total ban on all commercial and recreational activities except for food stores and pharmacies.

Earlier Monday health officials announced that 1,238 Israelis have been infected with the coronavirus so far and 75,000 are under two-week home isolation having been exposed to a carrier. Health officials have repeatedly warned that while most Israelis are complying with orders to stay at home and distance themselves from other people, too many were still mingling and helping to spread the disease.

Experts fear that the already soaring infection rate could see as many as 10,000 Israelis sick with the virus by the end of the month.

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At the cabinet meeting, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said that more specific health rules were required including taking the temperature of every employee allowed to work during the curfew before they would be allowed into their place of work.