Racism and violence are on the rise among Israelis following the spread of coronavirus, after a group of Jewish settlers attacked a Jewish-Indian immigrant thinking he was Chinese.
Am-Shalem Singson, 28, was in Tabarayya when attackers yelled racist slurs at him, including “Chinese” and “Corona,” while beating and kicking him in the chest.
Singson tried very hard to explain to the attackers that he was not Chinese and was not infected by the virus, but it did not help and they continued their assault. They only realized their mistake when he started speaking Hebrew and drove him to the hospital where they dropped him and escaped. He sustained injuries to his chest and lungs
The Israeli Health Ministry reported that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 255, four of which are in serious condition.
Health ministry’s Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov said that Israelis should be prepared for staying indoors, adding that the government might ask people to leave their homes less. He noted that they might take drastic measures that seem impossible now, but things will be different in two weeks.
Health Ministry officials have asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to announce new steps, including declaring a state of emergency in the business sector and all economic activity to be halted.
On Monday, the director of one of the largest hospitals in Israel told Ynet that the coronavius is getting out of control, adding that the number of infected people is rising rapidly which indicates that the disease is spreading fast in society.
Another senior source told Ynet that in the current stage of the spread of the virus, there is no escape from imposing a lockdown, despite the massive fear of the public’s response.
However, Netanyahu, fears that taking such a drastic measure will have economic consequences.
The military leadership in Tel Aviv decided to tighten its steps to counter the rapid spread of the virus among its ranks.
Israeli forces announced that five soldiers have been infected, and over 3,700 others are in isolation, including senior officers.
More stringent precautions have been taken within the military, including barring handshakes and gatherings of large numbers of soldiers. Soldiers were also ordered to keep a distance of two meters from each other.
So far, 700 have been called from the reserves and the forces plan to continue regular drills as planned at the small teams level, but major exercises have been canceled.