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Israel Expands Coronavirus Regulations

Israel on Wed. 4 March 2020 announced new procedures to curb the spread of coronavirus. All Israelis returning from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Austria were instructed to enter self-quarantine for a period of 14 days. Foreign citizens arriving from those countries will not be allowed into Israel. Israel had previously announced bans against east Asian nations such as China, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam when the spread of the novel coronavirus first began to make headlines in early Feb. 2020. Gatherings of over 5,000 people will not be permitted, and PM Netanyahu advised Israelis to avoid shaking hands. The Palestinian Authority has barred tourists and closed all mosques and churches in Bethlehem for the next two weeks after identifying cases of coronavirus in a Bethlehem hotel. In a rare joint press conference, including Israel's Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and other health ministry officials, Netanyahu said, "We had to undertake extreme measures in order to slow down the infection rates in Israel and that’s what happened. We must stress the importance of personal hygiene and to avoid shaking hands,” he said. As of Friday 6 March 2020, seventeen coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Israel, with thousands more quarantined to prevent the virus from spreading. The 100,000 figure of global infections is largely symbolic but dwarfs other major outbreaks in recent decades, such as SARS, MERS, and Ebola. The virus is still much less widespread than annual flu epidemics, which results in up to 5 million annual severe cases around the world and from 290,000 to 650,000 deaths annually, according to WHO. (VFI News)

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isa. 41:10