Netanyahu: Full quarantine, economic crisis on the table but not yet

"No one knows where this is going to go," Netanyahu said.

Israelis visit the beach in Tel Aviv on March 21, 2020. The Israeli governments has issued instructions to avoid public spaces, as the number of those infected by the Corona virus keeps growing. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Israelis visit the beach in Tel Aviv on March 21, 2020. The Israeli governments has issued instructions to avoid public spaces, as the number of those infected by the Corona virus keeps growing.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he wants to locate and isolate the sick and let the healthy go out to work on Saturday night during an interview with Channel 12.
"No one knows where this is going to go," he said. 
in the interview, the prime minister talked about rolling out a new coronavirus test that would allow the country to deem if someone had contracted the virus and built up immunity so that he or she could go out to work and resume life as usual. But he admitted that such a test did not yet exist or that medical professionals are still unsure if one can build up an immunity to the virus. 

"I can save Israel," Netanyahu said. "To save our country ... join now. The hour is now."
Netanyahu was also interviewed on Channel 13. saying that a full quarantine is possible as well as declaring a national economic crisis, but that the time for that has not come yet.

The interviews came on the backdrop of discussion that the prime minister is expected to increase the restrictions on the public amid the coronavirus outbreak as many Israelis maneuvered through the existing quarantine restrictions and took advantage of the comfortable weather on Saturday.

Several videos on social media show that despite being told to only leave their homes for specific things, such as shopping for food or medicine, assisting the elderly or receiving medical attention, Israelis spent their Saturday outside, going mostly to beaches and parks.

Despite expecting some Israelis to spend their day outside, Health Ministry officials were overwhelmed by the numbers of those who did and warned that stricter measures are inevitable if the public does not change its behavior.
"We're talking about our lives here, this is a pandemic!" Netanyahu said in response on Channel 13. "I am trying to stir this ship but I need the public to listen to the instructions and not be the iceberg that would bring us down."
The Health Ministry was forced to send a message to the public requesting that they go back home. The message was written in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
"The Ministry of Health advises the public to stay at home - the beautiful weather is not a reason to go outside," the message read, adding Health Ministry's Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov's statement, saying, “Don't leave home. Follow the Health Ministry's guidelines, otherwise we will find ourselves with a significant outbreak. I call on the public to stay home, whoever has gone out, please return home.”

Even though Health Ministry officials are demanding that stricter measures are taken, Netantyahu might only apply minor additions to the existing instructions. The prime minister is expected to hold a discussion with health officials to decide what measures will be taken.
Maayan Hoffman contributed to this report.