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Netanyahu: Healthcare system warned us they cannot withstand rising infections

Netanyahu insists that because Israel was among the first to reopen its economies in May after the first coronavirus lockdown, its economy is not in such bad shape.

“We were among the first to recognize the extent of the danger,” he says.

The number of seriously ill patients in Israel is among the lowest in the world; deaths per capita are among the lowest in the world, he adds.

“That we opened the economy early and fast” had a positive effect, he maintains.

He presents a slide showing the decline in Israel’s GDP in the second quarter of 2020 is less steep than in countries including the United States and Germany.

But amid the rising cases, Israel is forced to close again, he says, as are other countries around the world. The number of new confirmed cases held at about 2,000 per day for some two months, but last week rose steeply (to 3,000 and 4,000).

The prime minister says Israel held off on imposing a lockdown until the hospitals said it was necessary.

“On Thursday, they raised a red flag,” he says of the healthcare system.

The system cannot withstand the projected number of serious cases and deaths if no action is taken in the coming weeks, he says.

The government is therefore taking preemptive action, he says.

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