Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the public to exercise more discipline and responsibility in observing Health Ministry guidelines to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Netanyahu said there may be many deaths as a result of the virus and radical changes to people's lives must be made.
"We have begun using digital technology to trace the contacts of people infected by the coronavirus in order to locate anyone they may have come into contact with so that those people could be isolated and prevented from infecting others," Netanyahu said.
"We are imploring all of you to stay indoors and adhere to the guidelines and directives, but we are not enforcing the guidelines at this point, though that may change," he said.
Netanyahu expressed amazement at the fact that people have still not internalized the threat from the spread of coronavirus
The prime minister said there will be an increase of testing to total at least 3,000 tests a day with the hope of increasing the number to 5,000 tests positioning Israel as the country that will test more people than most other countries.
"We are purchasing tests abroad using our personal ties with leaders and also producing them locally. Per capita, we will test more than South Korea," Netanyahu said.
A drive through testing site is already being constructed in Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu said hospitals are preparing to treat the seriously ill and 1,000 new respirators have been purchases to assist in that effort. He did not say when the equipment will arrive and become available for victims of the disease.
As he was concluding his televised address the prime minister urged the public to take the situation seriously and adopt the saying "my home is my castle" as they protect themselves.
First published: 21:54 , 03.17.20