Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today addressed the question of how long the tight closure on the country will last, and estimated that it would take "at least a month".
"The closure will last a month and maybe much longer," the Prime Minister said in a Facebook Live broadcast, adding: "Targets and indicators have been set and they will dictate how long it will last.
"The number of patients is climbing fast. There are more than 800 serious patients. Unfortunately, the number of dead is also rising. Therefore, I ask to comply with the rules and the police," he said.
Netanyahu called on the public to wear face masks: "The public doesn't understand the power of masks. Wearing them on the face saves lives and must be done. Inside, only when you're with the nuclear family, can you afford to be without a mask."
Netanyahu's remarks join those by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein who vowed that the three-week nationwide lockdown would be extended, despite pressure for it to end on schedule.
Edelstein spoke to Kan Bet, discussing the ongoing lockdown imposed on September 18th and tentatively scheduled to end on October 9th.
During the interview, Edelstein said Israel "would not repeat the mistakes" made at the end of the first lockdown, insisting it cannot be ended after the end of the three-week period approved by the government.
The Health Minister did say the government may ease some restrictions at one point, but such changes would be announced at a later date.
Edelstein noted that coronavirus commissar Prof. Ronni Gamzu is slated to leave the position at the end of October, and rejected criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s handling of the crisis.
Asked whether Israeli courts will be closed while hearings are set to take place in Netanyahu’s trials, Edelstein said the decision must be made by the judicial system, not the Health Ministry.