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Netanyahu: Israel more ready for Coronavirus than any other country

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin, the Director General of the Ministry of Health and the head of the NSC visited Magen David Adom’s headquarters for responding to the Coronavirus Thursday.

“From the moment the Coronavirus appeared, I set a policy on the State of Israel of overpayment and not underpayment. There was criticism about it, but I thought, and still think, that the policy of over-caution is the right policy,” Netanyahu said.

“Therefore, because the health of Israeli citizens is our top priority, we have taken steps that other countries have not taken – we were the first in the world to block flights from countries where the virus appears to be significant and we have also taken other steps,” he added.

The Prime Minister added, “Today I announce a move that we have already begun in its implementation, which is also, to my knowledge, the first in the world. We are the pioneer country that takes these steps. We ask anyone who comes from any country in the world who has the symptoms of the virus to call MDA hotline 101. There are paramedics, and medical professionals who will answer the call, and then doctors who will ask those who have been diagnosed with these symptoms.”

“If necessary, Magen David Adom will send paramedics to the home to do the test – a test kit at home. It is an innovative thing, it is something that can prevent the spread of the disease and I ask for your cooperation with the citizens of Israel.”

Netanyahu referred to the financial burden on airlines and businesses. ”I appointed Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to head a ministerial committee to assist both businesses and companies.”

“The citizens of Israel need to know that there is a safe hand, a responsible hand and we want caution, but we also want responsibility, and so I ask the citizens to heed the instructions, cooperate with the authorities and of course not get carried away with over-concern. We will follow the guidelines according to the developments. As we have so far been the most advanced country in the world in this area, we will continue to do so in the future.

Netanyahu also added, “As you can see, we are responsible, acting in a systematic manner, and willing to mobilize the public’s cooperation. Yesterday I was in a very exciting ceremony, together with the Finance and Health Ministers, laying a cornerstone for a new hospital in Kiryat Ata in the north. There I asked to meet doctors from the area, who speak Arabic.”

“I met Prof. Paid Hakim, who is the director of the English hospital in Nazareth and Dr. Sonia Habib, a doctor from Haifa – and asked them a simple question: ‘Do the guidelines we now give in Hebrew also reach Arabic speakers among Israeli citizens?’, And they promised me and assured me that it does.

”We hope it won’t reach anyy house, but it will still come to homes, and will require home isolation – I ask, depending on ability, even though it imposes a burden, if isolation is needed – just one person in the room. I know it would cause people to be crowded in the rest of the apartment, but I ask you to do so. ”

The Prime Minister is convinced: “We can control the disease. We work better than any other country in the world, so to my knowledge, and it also depends on the guidelines we get from here, from the government ministries, from the Prime Minister’s Office – and it also depends on you, the citizens of Israel. Without exception, I thank you for your cooperation.”

Header: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, visits the Magen David Adom’s coronavirus operations center in Jerusalem together with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, right, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, second right, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, left, and National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, second left, on February 27, 2020. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)