It has been confirmed today that 3,035 Israelis have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, with the vast majority of cases mild. Twelve patients have died and 49 are in serious condition. There have been 79 recoveries.
Israel’s government has approved emergency measures to limit movement of citizens and trade, shuttering cultural and recreational establishments as well as schools and universities and banning gatherings. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson said 500 armed soldiers will be deployed alongside Israeli police starting Sunday to help enforce Health Ministry regulations.
Since Wednesday, Israelis have been ordered to stay at home “unless they are taking part in a small number of specially designated approved activities, including purchasing food and medicine”. Violators “are subject to large fines of upwards of NIS 500 (£114) and even imprisonment”.
Israel has also sealed its borders to all foreigners.
Israel approved the use of a cellphone tracking tool developed by the Shin Bet security service to track infected citizens and others who may have come into close contact with them in the past two weeks. A similar strategy has been used by South Korea and Taiwan.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service have opened a new drive-through facility in Tel Aviv so that Israelis can receive on the spot testing for the coronavirus while they wait in their cars.