VFI News March 17, 2020

Israel Coronavirus Updates

"Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer." Rom. 12:12

The Ministry of Health announced on Sat. evening 14 March 2020 that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel had risen to almost 200 with three of them in serious condition. The previous day schools and universities were shut down for at least a month until after the Passover holiday. Preschools and daycares were also closed beginning on Sunday 15 March 2020 and gatherings of over ten people have been banned. Following a weekend of meetings and deliberation between government officials to determine further necessary measures against the virus - PM Netanyahu announced that supermarkets, banks, and gas stations would remain open, but that restaurants, malls, and other recreational areas would be closed for the foreseeable future. Calling on all Israel's citizens to cooperate in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Netanyahu admitted that the measures were not easy, and required the creation of a new routine. According to the National Health Ministry, since coronavirus first broke out in the country, more than 200,000 Israelis have entered quarantine. Some 40,000 people are presently in quarantine. The IDF ordered all soldiers on leave to return to base on Sunday 15 March 2020 and to prepare to remain on base for at least a month. According to the World Health Organization, as China reports a decrease in new cases, the epicenter of the outbreak has moved to Europe, which – with Israel included in the organization's statistics – has more cases than the rest of the world combined, excluding China. (VFI News)

Pray for the people of Israel even as we are praying for the nations to be protected and healed from coronavirus. The virus is manifold in its dangers to the tiny Jewish State.

National Day of Prayer in USA

President Trump declared on Friday 13 March 2020 a National Day of Prayer for Sunday 15 March 2020 shortly after declaring a state of emergency amid the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. "We are a country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these," Trump tweeted. "No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will PREVAIL!" Trump's announcement came after he declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. Trump has large support from evangelical Christians voters. As president, he has fought for greater religious freedoms such as strengthening prayer in public schools. (VFI News)

Well done President Trump! Many of us in Israel will have joined our USA family and friends in prayer on Sunday. "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chron. 7:14

Viruses and Diseases Have no Boundaries

Following the directive of Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) headed by Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun, on Friday 13 March 2020 transferred approximately 200 coronavirus test kits to the Gaza Strip. This is part of a series of efforts that the unit has been promoting over the past month to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the Palestinian Authority and to prevent an outbreak in the Gaza Strip. Gen. Rukun said, "Viruses and diseases have no boundaries - and therefore preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the Gaza Strip and eradicating its outbreak in the territories of Judea and Samaria are of prime Israeli interest. COGAT said it would, along with the Ministry of Health, continue efforts to assist the PA in curbing the spread of the virus in Judea and Samaria, out of Israeli interest and humanitarian thinking. (VFINews/INN)

Intercede there will be no outbreaks of the coronavirus in the Gaza Strip or in Judea and Samaria as this would be devesting to both Israel and the Palestinians.

Viable Vaccine for COVID-19 Being Developed

Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, Canada, announced on Thur. 12 March 2020 that they have successfully produced a Virus-Like Particle of the coronavirus just 20 days after obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing the COVID-19 disease) gene. Production of the VLP is the first step in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 which will now undergo preclinical testing for safety and efficacy. Once this is completed, Medicago expects to discuss with the appropriate health agencies to initiate human trials of the vaccine by July or August of 2020. The company’s CEO, Bruce Clark, said over the weekend that his company could produce as many as 10 million doses a month if regulatory hurdles can be cleared. The vaccine could start to become available in Nov. 2020. (Fox)

Continue to intercede that an effective vaccine will be produced as quickly as possible and that the nations will be healed of these many illnesses. Pray also for those in countries that have been hard-hit to recovery quickly. Lord, comfort the broken-hearted who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus.

Rouhani Tells Media to Lighten up on Virus Coverage

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has met with key advisors and officials to coordinate the suppression of media reports on the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Iran’s Tasnim reports that the President’s office will “track” media reports. They want to push a campaign to highlight the regime’s response to the coronavirus. Under the guise of “accurate, clear and transparent information on countering coronavirus,” it appears the main goal is to get the public to stop asking questions. “The main need of today’s society is to relax the focus,” the report notes. Rouhani claims that news updates are currently undermining the mental well-being of society. Rouhani warned the media not to be politically motivated and said it must explain how the health care system capabilities have succeeded despite USA pressure and inhumane sanctions. Meanwhile, the reality in Iran is despair. Media sources report mass graves in Iran, so immense they can be seen from satellites. Qom is a pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims, attracting millions of pilgrims every year. It is also where morgue directors are having trouble handling burials for those who died of the virus, with bodies piling up because the cases are rapidly rising in the country, creating a backlog. Iranian officials reported on Sunday 15 March 2020 that the death toll in Iran has risen to 724 and that 1,200 new patients were diagnosed over the weekend. (VFI News)

Jim Bakker Sued for Selling Fake Coronavirus Cure

It is almost impossible to refrain from judgment in a case like this, and at a time such as this: Truly, televangelist Jim Bakker is on dangerous ground and must be exposed because he is not the man of God he claims to be and the faithful are paying for it. Bakker’s proffering of a sham cure for the coronavirus has resulted in a lawsuit from attorneys for the state of Missouri. Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed papers last week in the Circuit Court of Stone County in Galena, Missouri against Bakker and his production company demanding a judge halt his peddling of a “Silver Solution and related products as treatments for coronavirus.” Bakker has been hawking the so-called healing liniment for a month on “The Jim Bakker Show”. They are “unapproved new drugs” sold in violation of federal food and drug laws. Bakker has also, according to the lawsuit, violated a Missouri merchandising law by “falsely promising to consumers that Silver Solution can cure, eliminate, kill or deactivate coronavirus and boost elderly consumers’ immune system.” On the contrary, attorneys write, “there is, in fact, no vaccine, pill, potion or other product available to” treat or cure COVID-19.” According to show transcripts, Bakker interviewed Sherill Sellman, a “natural health expert” who erroneously boasted her solution could eliminate COVID-19 within 12 hours. He then offered viewers to receive the product by donating $80 or $125 to his for-profit ministry. (VFI News)

Jim Bakker fans may you be enlightened and save your donations for a better cause!

Netanyahu's Trial on Corruption Charges Postponed

Israeli PM Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges has been postponed until 24 May 2020. The development is the result of a coronavirus-related decision by Justice Minister Amir Ohana to halt all court activities that do not qualify as an “extraordinary emergency.” The trial was set to begin Tues. 17 March 2020. The move comes at a sensitive time in-light-of three snap-elections in Israel in less than a year with no clear outcomes. Over the past few days, Netanyahu has repeatedly called on his main rival, Blue and White chief Benny Gantz, to put aside any differences and join a unity government to more adequately address and respond to the health crisis. Preliminary talks between Netanyahu and Gantz have taken place. All 15 members of the Joint List a collection of primarily Arab parties on Sunday 15 March 2020 recommended Benny Gantz as their preferred candidate for forming the next government. Following the recommendation of the Joint List, Gantz is expected to win 61 recommendations and will thus receive the mandate to form the government already this week. (VFI News)

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