25 Israelis diagnosed with coronavirus, Netanyahu rolls out five-part plan
Netanyahu said that Israel is “acting on both the national and international levels” and that in the past 48 hours he has spoken with world leaders.
By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN, CELIA JEAN
Twenty-five Israelis have been diagnosed with coronavirus as of press time on Saturday, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared coronavirus the worst pandemic in 100 years.Patients 17 through 25 were found to have the virus over the weekend and are in quarantine. The Health Ministry reported they are in stable condition.Netanyahu said Israel is “acting on both the national and international levels” and that in the past 48 hours he had spoken with world leaders and initiated a conference call with other countries that will be held next week to see how world leaders can help each other.He rolled out a five-part plan for attacking coronavirus in Israel.First, all public installations will undergo disinfection, the prime minister said.“This virus is sensitive to bleach and we must act in an orderly way to disinfect railway stations, bus stations, etc.,” he said. “To this end, over the vacation period, which may be extended, I will mobilize young people, both in schools and in youth movements, in a very meticulous way, to help with the disinfection. I will also ask the IDF to take care of certain installations.”Next, he said the Air Force may be enlisted to ensure Israel has all essential supplies. Third, he said, he is working on opening a line of credit in order to provide a response for businesses and companies that will feel the pressure.Advertisement“Fourth, we will mobilize the best minds in Israel in order to develop a broad test in order to ensure an industrial testing ability that will separate between ill and healthy people,” Netanyahu explained. “We will continue to watch over the Israeli economy. Without this, things would bring about a two-fold – economic and industrial – collapse. It is within our ability to change this.”And finally, the prime minister said that Israel will use its ties with leaders in certain countries: “We will help them and they will help us,” he said. “With God’s help, we will overcome the crisis together.”Patient number 25 is from central Israel. He returned from Spain on March 2. Patient 24, from the center of the country, flew to Greece on February 27 with a group of pilgrims, 21 of whom have since been diagnosed with the virus. He returned to the country on March 3.On Sunday it was revealed that patient 24 is a 48-year-old woman who was admitted to the hospital after returning from Italy, Maariv reported. She voted in the March 2 elections at at polling station 21 in the Evan Han School in Shoham, northern Israel.The 23rd person diagnosed with coronavirus was announced Saturday night. The Tel Aviv man returned from Italy on February 29, immediately entered into quarantine and only left his house to vote on March 2 at a “coronavirus voting station” in the area.Patient 22 was also diagnosed on Saturday. The 50-year-old man from the center of the country returned from Barcelona on March 1.Patients 18-21 were confirmed on Friday.Patient 21, a Haifa resident in his 30s, returned from Austria on March 1 and is quarantined at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa. Patient 20, from the center of the country, returned from Madrid on March 2.Patients 18 and 19 are both in their 50s and from central Israel. Number 19 returned from Zurich on March 4. Patient 18 returned from Spain on February 27.No. 17 is a pensioner who returned from abroad who went directly into quarantine after driving home in a private car.In addition to the Israelis diagnosed with the virus, an Italian citizen who was in Israel for a conference in February was diagnosed with coronavirus after returning to Italy, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced.The Italian was in Israel between February 23 and 25, and spent most of his time at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv. In addition, a French tourist to Israel tested positive for the virus on Friday. He spent around 24 hours in the country, traveling between Ben-Gurion Airport and Jerusalem, where he took part in a family celebration at the Rambam Synagogue in the Katamon neighborhood.The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said 19 Palestinians have been infected with the virus, most likely via interaction with a group of Greek pilgrims who visited Bethlehem and neighboring Beit Jala. The city is on lockdown and the PA is reportedly working with Israel to contain the virus.Patient number 16, a bus driver from east Jerusalem, like patient 24 was also infected by the Greek tourists. He is in critical condition at Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, in Tiberias, where he checked in with pneumonia. The man is on artificial respiration, according to the most recent reports. On Sunday, the medical center reported that his condition was worsening and that he had a high fever.To date, more than 80,000 Israelis are in home quarantine. The Population and Immigration Authority said on Saturday 19,089 foreigners have left Israel in the last 24 hours.
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