Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a stricter policy to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thursday of people staying at home, saying that police would enforce restrictions.
“Under these orders, you, Israel’s citizens, are required to stay at home. It is no longer a request, it is not a recommendation; it is an obligatory directive that will be enforced by enforcement authorities,” Netanyahu said in a speech aired on TV, according to a Reuters report.
The stricter measures still allow for people to leave their homes to shop for food and medicine, as well as for some essential workers.
Israel’s Health Ministry reported 677 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday, marking a big jump in cases, and which came after an increase in the amount of testing for the virus, the report said.
Israel has banned foreigners from entering the country unless they have residency permits in order to try to stop the spread of the illness.
Separately, Israel approved licensing of a generic version of an HIV drug to treat people infected with the coronavirus, reported Ynet.
The anti-viral drug Kaletra could be effective against the virus, according to Israel’s Ministry of Health.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu warned that a total lockdown would be implemented if people did not voluntarily obey the guidelines.