“This is a difficult decision but it is essential to maintaining public health, which takes precedence over everything,” Netanyahu said.
By World Israel News Staff
Following two days of discussions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the position of the Health Ministry and agreed to impose mandatory quarantine on all those entering Israel, foreigners and citizens alike.
“After a day of complex discussions, we have made a decision: Whoever arrives in Israel from abroad will enter quarantine for 14 days,” Netanyahu announced Monday evening after chairing a series of discussions on the coronavirus at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.
The numbers involved could reach 250,000.
Among the topics discussed, with the participation of experts, were the policy regarding people entering Israel from overseas, economic preparations and scientific-technological issues.
“This is a difficult decision but it is essential to maintaining public health, which takes precedence over everything,” the prime minister stated.
“This decision will be in effect for two weeks. At the same time, we will make decisions to safeguard the Israeli economy.”
All non-Israelis will have to prove they have where to stay while quarantined; otherwise they will be denied entry.
Participating in the discussions were Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and others.
Prior to the meeting, the Health Ministry confirmed that three more Israelis were diagnosed with COV-19, bringing the number to 42. Later in the evening, 50 were confirmed to have contracted the virus.
One of the sick – a bus driver – is in serious but stable condition.
More information has been released about coronavirus case No. 29. The man in his 40s contracted corona from an “unknown origin” causing concern that the virus has already spread within the population. He is an ambulance driver for Magen David Adom and wasn’t in contact with any of the known infected individuals.
Another of the sick, case No. 36, also is causing concern. A man in his 40s who returned from Brazil on March 5, he only recently showed signs of sickness and until Monday night had not been in isolation.
There has been some criticism of Israel’s steps to fight the coronavirus, with some medical professionals saying the emphasis should be on those showing signs of sickness and not on a general call for isolation.