Netanyahu: ‘Stay at home, stay alive,’ complete lockdown if virus spread continues

“You must stay at home. Stay at home – stay alive. Everyone has to obey, no exceptions,” the prime minister stated.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a press conference Wednesday evening at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, stressed the need for citizens to stay at home and follow the lockdown rules amid the rise in the number of people diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus

“Citizens of Israel, you know the following [talmudic] phrase: ‘He who saves one life, it is as if he saved an entire world. With the coronavirus it has a different meaning. ‘He who infects one person, it is as if he infected the entire world,'” Netanyahu said.

Despite the significant steps Israel has taken to control the spread of the virus, by Wednesday there were 2,369 confirmed cases and five deaths.

Most citizens have been following the health ministry regulations, but not everybody.

“The steps that we have taken here in Israel are being taken all over the world; however, they are not enough because the number of patients is doubling itself every three days. In two weeks, we are liable to find ourselves with thousands of patients many of whom will be in danger of death, the prime minister said.

“Therefore,” he continued, “I am already telling you that 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.”

At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Israelis were ordered to follow new, stricter regulations further restricting freedom of movement.

“I say this most clearly,” Netanyahu declared. “You must stay at home. Stay at home – stay alive. Everyone has to obey, no exceptions. And you must be very cautious with your safety. What it takes for anyone to obey is strict self-discipline.

“If you do not mobilize to look after yourselves and your families, there will be a disaster here,” he warned. “Do not leave home, stay inside the homes and follow the guidelines. These are not trifles, but matters of life and death.”