(March 17, 2020 / JNS) Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 48 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total to 298. A top health official said the government was considering a general lockdown.
“We may ask people to leave the house less and only for necessary errands. The government is considering a general closure on all citizens, and if that happens, it would mean all age groups will be asked to stay home until further notice,” said Health Ministry deputy director-general Itamar Grotto, according to a Ynet report.
“We’re preparing now for hospitals to be able to contain the coronavirus patients who will need treatment, and most of the less urgent patients will be hospitalized at home unless it is impossible due to socioeconomic or familial reasons,” said Grotto.
Separately on Monday, the shekel suffered a significant loss, with a rate at 3.76 shekels to one U.S. dollar.
In reaction to the drop, Israel’s central bank moved to add hundreds of millions of dollars of liquidity.
“Because of dollar liquidity problems in the currency markets both around world and in Israel, we started supplying short-term liquidity to return the markets to being fully functional,” Bank of Israel Deputy Governor Andrew Abir told Reuters.
Tel Aviv shares on the indices TA35 and TA125 dropped 7 percent on Monday.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.