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Rivlin urges Israelis to follow official instructions on virus, not be dismissive

President Reuven Rivlin attends the opening of an emergency call center set up by the Magen David Adom ambulance service and the IDF’s Home Front Command for dealing with the new corononavirus.

“Israelis, like people around the world, are battling a plague that is hitting all humanity. Of course, in Israel we are protected by Magen David Adom and the IDF, the people’s shield and the people’s army… Everyone has faith in you and knows that they can do so,” Rivlin says at the facility in Ramle, according to statement from his office.

President Reuven Rivlin (L) puts on hand sanitizer at the Magen David Adom-Home Front Command emergency call center in Ramle for the coronavirus, Fenruary 12, 2020. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

The president urges Israelis to follow Health Ministry instructions, noting Israelis can be a “little dismissive” at times of official orders.

“We must listen to the instructions. Often, we are a little dismissive of instructions or we think ‘they are very important for other people, but not for us.’ We must strictly follow all the instructions we have been given because they have been properly and carefully thought through to prevent any danger to us all,” he says.

The Knesset plans to pass a law that would allow recruiting vital employees in different industries following Health Minister Yaakov Litzman’s announcement the COVID-19 is “a contagious and dangerous illness.”

Meantime, The Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer on Thursday said one its doctors has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The doctor, a member of the hospital’s emergency medicine unit, returned from a trip to France on March 2, before Israel ordered all travelers coming from there to self-quarantine for 14 days.

He worked a shift that day in the emergency room before going into home quarantine.

The announcement came as the Health Ministry said Thursday the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Israel has climbed to 100.

Among the newly diagnosed are two children, a 10-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, from central Israel. The boy had recently traveled with his father to Spain.

As of 8 P.M., all foreigners wil not be allowed into Israel, unless they can prove they are able to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.

Header: Israeli Border Police equipped with gear to protect themselves from the coronavirus at the al-Walaja checkpoint in the West Bank, March 11, 2020. Credit: Emil Salman