Prime Minister Netanyahu told government ministers during a cabinet meeting overnight that if the current pace of new coronavirus infections continues, Israel will have to decide who to administer artificial respiration to, Channel 12 reports.
Netanyahu says thousands may be sick within weeks:
“If the current pace of infection continues for another 15 days [that is, with the number of cases doubling every three days ], we’ll find ourselves in a situation where we’ll have to decide who to put on ventilators and who not,” he is quoted saying, apparently because there will be insufficient ventilators for all who need them.
“These are laws of life and death; do not leave your home,” Netanyahu said. He warned that within two weeks, there could be thousands of patients in serious condition if people failed to comply with the instructions.
Netanyahu says he doesn’t know when the coronavirus outbreak will end, but that the government is already looking at how to proceed the day after.
“With the help of G-d, we’ll return to normal days,” he says.
He calls COVID-19 one of the deadliest diseases in human history, bunching it with the Bubonic plague, cholera and other diseases.
Like in his other recent televised statements, he calls on his political rivals to join an emergency unity government to deal with the virus.
Netanyahu says Israel is making significant efforts to acquire additional medical equipment, amid a reported shortage of ventilators.
He adds that Israel carried out over 5,000 coronavirus tests today.
Netanyahu warns there could be thousands of new cases soon, “many of whom will be at the risk of death.”
He says that if there isn’t an immediate improvement in the rate of new cases, there won’t be any other option but to impose a total lockdown, adding the government is taking steps to ready for this.
The Health Ministry says there are now 2,369 confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel, with 39 people in serious condition.
Another 64 people are in moderate condition. Five people have died from COVID-19.