(March 12, 2020 / Israel Hayom and JNS staff) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday announced a new directive banning gatherings of more than 100 people, alongside a directive for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to self-quarantine immediately.
Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem with Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, Netanyahu also urged Israelis to alter their daily routines to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools and universities would remain open for the time being, he said, but will have to abide by various restrictions that would be announced as early as Thursday.
Netanyahu, who played a video visualizing the impact of a sneeze on one’s surroundings, appealed to Israelis: “Please change your daily routines, avoid handshakes, make sure to wash your hands and maintain personal hygiene. Use a tissue when you sneeze.”
“We ask that people don’t hold conferences and events if they don’t have to,” he added.
Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov said “we call on employers to let more and more employers work from home,” adding that “anyone who has fever or any symptoms should self-quarantine.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Netanyahu said Israel was in good shape relatively speaking, with 82 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, in part because Israel made swift decisions right at the start of the outbreak.
“I have talked with health officials from around the world, who praised our response,” he said.
This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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