Netanyahu: ‘No Improvement’ in Number of New Daily Coronavius Cases

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attend the weekly cabinet meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Yerushalayim, Sunday. (Sebastian Scheiner/Pool via Reuters)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday by addressing the continued surge in coronavirus infections, which has continued to rise in the last two weeks.

“Unfortunately, there is currently no improvement in the infection rate,” the prime minister said. “The number of infections continues to be about 200 per day, which is a red flag. I reiterate, everyone must obey the guidelines and respect the regulations of the Health Ministry. ”

However, Netanyahu did not say that he would tighten the restrictions.

“I would like to bring to the attention of the government and the public the research at the universities of Cambridge and Greenwich, which was published recently. I cite the research study to the effect that wearing masks by the public is twice as effective in lowering the R-value [the average number of people that an infected person will pass the disease on to] than wearing them only after the onset of symptoms. In all indices checked in the study, it was found that wearing masks by half of the population lowered the R-value to less than 1. That is to say, it stopped the pandemic. If lowering the R-value to less than 1 stopped the pandemic, then I reiterate and request the public to follow the Health Ministry rules – wear masks, maintain distance and wash hands.

“Profesor Ilan Reiss from the Technion wrote to the head of the National Security Council and said that he describes masks, distance and washing hands as a kind of mini-closure. This is a mini-closure that citizens in effect impose upon themselves, which prevents the need to impose community or national closures and the other restrictions that we would like not to re-impose. This is what makes possible the continued opening of our economy and, of course, renders the continued maintenance of the public sphere much more pleasant for all of us.”

 

During his remarks at the opening of the Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu thanked President Donald Trump for his decision to impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court.

“I would like to commend President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their decision to impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The court in The Hague is a political body that is hostile toward Israel, the U.S. and other democracies that respect human rights even as it ignores other countries that violate human rights, especially – of course – the terrorist regime in Iran. The court invents absurd accusations against the State of Israel, including the scandalous claim that the presence of Jews in the heart of our homeland constitutes a war crime. This contravenes common sense, it contravenes international law since the San Remo Conference 100 years ago and it contravenes justice. I thank President Trump and the American administration again for their stand on the side of truth and justice.

“Today, we will begin practical steps in establishing the community of Ramat Trump on the Golan Heights, Israel’s sovereignty over which was recognized by President Trump.”