Coronavirus: Israel’s advice to its citizens

March 12, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Following a meeting with the Minister for Health, Head of National Security and the Health Ministry Director-General, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Israeli citizens to help themselves in combating Coronavirus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads the weekly Cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, on Dec. 1, 2019. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL.

Netanyahu declared: “I am asking you, citizens of Israel, to change your routines in order to deal with an external threat. In short, to change. It is not easy. It requires us to make many changes such as something that Israelis love to do. We love to embrace. We love to shake hands. We love to kiss. No more. I have already specified certain changes that we need to make. First, to refrain from shaking hands, to wash hands. We will also issue directives about that again, repeatedly, to maintain personal hygiene. I would like you to also see the significance of putting a handkerchief or a tissue over the face. Please, see here is what happens when somebody sneezes. It transfers the disease, these droplets of saliva, and therefore, the easiest thing is to simply take a tissue. I carry tissues all the time. Do this: Sneeze or cough into a tissue. You do not need masks; this is enough. Do this and it will effect a very major change because we need to protect each other, and I will get to this shortly.

This is the first thing, to maintain hygiene, and to wash hands, and about shaking hands and using handkerchiefs, in order to avoid coughing or sneezing and spreading these droplets of saliva, and also when you touch your face, as much as possible. This is the first thing.

The second thing that we are doing today is a behavioural change. We are asking for your help – to limit gatherings. We are asking: If there is no need for conferences or events, do not hold them and do not go to them. I am saying this as clearly as possible. We are in a global pandemic. I ask you, other countries that did not take the steps that we have taken are in a very difficult slide. We are safeguarding the country well but we need to effect behavioural changes so that we can continue to safeguard ourselves well and get through this crisis.

Do not gather. We are artificially limiting this to closed places of over 100 people. There will be exceptions for security needs and other public needs, and for health and military needs and such, but for other issues as well. We will make exceptions. We will issue this in an orderly fashion. This is important. It must be understood that we are entering into a different discipline. And if you go to a place where there is a gathering, try not to crowd in. Do everything not to crowd in. And again – maintain hygiene.”

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