Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning , participated in a video conference with leaders hosted by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, in continuation of the previous conferences, in order to discuss international cooperation in dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morison, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis also participated in the conference.

The leaders discussed dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus and developments regarding the development of vaccines for the virus.

"Yesterday was an extraordinary day", Netanyahu said, "If I liken the global battle against corona to the global battle in World War II, yesterday was the landing on the beaches of Normandy. We still know it’s going to take time. There are going to be a lot of efforts but we know that the battle is on the way to be won. I’m curious about the various vaccines. We are in contact with countries and companies and I suppose we don’t know the long-term effect of an RNA vaccine on human beings but there is no question that there is a big light at the end of the tunnel".

"We had a record high infection rate", he added, "We went into national lockdown. Fortunately, not accidentally, during the Jewish holidays so we lost relatively little on our economy but for about a month we locked down the country and we brought it down from 10,000 to 700".

Netanyahu stated that Israel is still taking measures - "Our exit from this level depends on defined criteria of infection rates and the R-factor. We just will not open more than what we have. We opened quite a bit but we haven’t opened restaurants, we haven’t opened bars, haven’t opened gyms. We don’t allow mass weddings or celebrations and so on. But we have opened quite a bit our economy including commerce with limitations. We avoid closed spaces as much as we can".

"I call this the accordion", he explained, "We open up the economy and then we close it as we get more infections; then we open it and try not to open it up too fast because we know the infections will go upward accordingly."

Prime Minister Netanyahu also raised the issue of the effectiveness of night curfews.

Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to the recent terrorist attack in Vienna and told Chancellor Kurz, "We identify with you. You can understand how heartfelt that is, how we identify with the horror that you just experienced, and France has experienced, and I want to reiterate our commitment to our common stance against this savageness."

National Cyber Directorate Yigal Unna presented the leaders with the network – a platform for sharing information between the member countries on the fight against the virus. The system was developed by IAI-ELTA Systems, Ltd. in cooperation with the National Cyber Directorate and the Health Ministry, based on the Cybernet system that serves the Israeli cyber defense community. This is a secure platform that facilitates the sharing of warnings, science and technology among all of the elements – from the countries participating in the conference – involved in defeating the coronavirus.

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