Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday instructed officials to prepare plans to further restrict the movement of Israelis in efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
In a series of discussions, the prime minister directed police to step up enforcement of the emergency measured announced on Thursday,so that more Israelis will remain in their homes, according to a government statement.
The Finance Ministry is preparing a plan to further reduce work and enforcement was being stepped up at supermarkets and at pharmacies to ensure customers and businesses are maintaining safe distances and carrying out disinfection in adherence to Health Ministry instructions.
Netanyahu noted that if there is no improvement in the rate of infection in the next two days, there will be no alternative but to impose a lockdown.
The PM's Office said the new plans to tighten restrictions on movement would be presented to the Prime Minister and ministers over the next 48 hours.
Health Ministry officials said they intend to step up testing for coronavirus with the aim of reaching 30,000 tests per day.
Currently, less than 6,000 tests are conducted with labs around the country already claiming they are overwhelmed by the amounts of tests they must analyze in the hours they are permitted to operate demanding they be authorized to work 24/7 to meet the needs of hospitals and patients.
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett praised the decision to increase testing calling it "great news" and expressing the hope that more people who are infected by the coronavirus could be found, isolated from the healthy population and treated.
First published: 19:04 , 03.27.20