Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel is currently in a "state of emergency" in light of the alarmingly high number of new coronavirus cases in the country.
Israel has in recent weeks seen a resurgence of COVID-19, with the number of active patients, currently sick with the pathogen, passing the 10,000 mark on Friday, for the first time since the start of the epidemic.
"We are in a state of emergency, we cannot delay the legislation [on adopting virus measures], we must move forward with it to stop the spread," he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. "We will have to state steps beyond what was agreed upon during the coronavirus cabinet [meeting] last week."
Netanyahu said the World Health Organization recently pinpointed the Middle East as a coronavirus hotspot and it "does not exclude" Israel.
"We're in the midst of a renewed coronavirus attack," he said. "We are seeing - as I have warned before - the outbreak is accompanied by an increase in the number of serious cases, which will challenge the Health Ministry."
The prime minister added that in the next few days the government will present a financial rescue plan for businesses owners and employees, whose livelihoods were hurt most by the layoffs and closures as a result of the health crisis.
"This is the most important mission for me and the government."
Netanyahu is set to convene the coronavirus cabinet later on Sunday to discuss re-imposing some restrictions on restaurants and cafes. Last week, the government voted to limit all public events, including concerts and weddings, to up to 50 people, with all social gatherings now limited to a maximum of 20 participants.