Coronavirus Crisis: Drone Shows an Emptied-out Tel Aviv as Lockdown Continues

Netanyahu has warned Israel would expand the lockdown to combat the coronavirus unless people stepped up compliance with guidelines urging them to stay at home

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday full lockdown orders would be issued unless people stepped up compliance with guidelines urging them to stay at home to help halt the spread of the coronavirus in Israel. Drone footage from Wednesday captured an emptied-out Tel Aviv as much of the population headed Netanyahu's guidelines.

In a controversial new measure for containing infections, the Health Ministry said it alerted people who had been exposed to coronavirus carriers, based on information it gleaned through "technological means" - an apparent reference to cyber-surveillance on loan from the Shin Bet counter-terrorism agency.

Empty Tel Aviv from bird's-eye-viewCredit: Tomer Appelbaum

Israeli coronavirus surveillance explained: Who's tracking you and what happens with the data

"Yesterday we gave clear instructions ... asking people to stay at home as much as they can and to go outside only when it's vital, for food supplies and other such needs we specified," Netanyahu said in an interview with Channel 12 TV.

But, Netanyahu said, some members of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and "part of the minorities" - a reference to its 21-percent Arab minority - have not taken in the message.

"If the message is not understood, then I will not hesitate to impose an order."

He gave no details on the extent of any lockdown and said he would address the issue further in public remarks on Thursday.

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