Health authorities Monday restricted maximum public gatherings from 5,000 to 2,000 and advised everyone to postpone all events as the number of infected Israeli cases rose to 61 with 5,100 people in quarantine. The public was urged to cut down on visits to hospitals and institutions for senior citizens, who are the most vulnerable to the serious symptoms of coronavirus. As hoarding of food and essential products continued in the shops, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised there would no shortages. Supplies were ample and an emergency plan would allow the country to charter airliners to ferry supplies in. The police have been given access to lists of overseas travelers in order enforce the quarantine rules.
Moshe Simantov, Director-General of the Health Ministry, said there are no plans to close schools at this time. That is an extreme measure. He said that Israel is number two in the world in conducting coronavirus tests but, he said, added facilities would quadruple its capacity. “We are very far from the situation in Italy, where an entire country of 60 million was placed in quarantine.
The economic fallout is becoming severe: Thousands of workers, especially in the badly hit hotel and tourist industries, face dismissal.