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Police told to prepare for ‘inevitable’ nationwide lockdown

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has instructed the Israel Police to prepare for a complete lockdown of the country, calling such a move “inevitable,” according to Hebrew media reports Wednesday morning.

According to the reports, Erdan held a conference call Tuesday night with the chief of police and heads of other security agencies, following the latest update to guidelines issued by the Health Ministry to stem of the growing number of Israelis infected with the new coronavirus.

“I am convinced that in view of the situation that has arisen, this is an inevitable decision that will save many lives,” Erdan reportedly said.

The public security minister was said to have requested that police and security chiefs urgently prepare and present to him a detailed plan for implementing a countrywide lockdown, in which only essential workers will be allowed to leave their homes, while other citizens will only be allowed out in order to buy supplies and for medical treatment.

If a lockdown is ordered, police will be placed in charge of enforcement, while the IDF Home Front Command will be in charge of the supply of essential items.

Erdan reportedly told participants in the conference call that while a decision to impose a complete lockdown would be a very difficult one, in the current situation it is preferable to take tough measures for a short time in order to defeat the coronavirus quickly and prevent deaths.