Netanyahu: Up to 10,000 Israelis could die from coronavirus by next month

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned yesterday that deaths from coronavirus could reach 10,000 by next month, Israeli media reported.

FILE – In this Sunday, July 29, 2018 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem.

“We could reach a million infected within a month,” he told Israeli Channel 12 News. “There could also be 10,000 dead Israelis.”

During a six-hour meeting on the telephone with other Israeli ministers, Netanyahu presented what he called the Health Ministry’s “nightmare scenario,” warning of the huge number of infections and deaths.

Israeli ministers during the meeting approved additional restrictions on public transportation, Netanyahu’s office said, noting that transportation would be significantly reduced and may only be used for approved purposes.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that ministers decided during the meeting to extend the permission for Shabak to trace the mobile phones of people infected with coronavirus.

Arab48 reported that ministers at the meeting said that Netanyahu did not look worried as he presented what the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, that 60 to 70 per cent of people would be infected with coronavirus.

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich criticised the way decisions were made, for example the decision to reduce transportation was made without consulting the Transportation Ministry.