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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu dials PM Modi, discusses COVID-19 outbreak

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu held discussions on the novel coronavirus outbreak and its possible impact on the supply lines in Israel, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office. The World Health Organisation has declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

“I also spoke with the Indian Prime Minister, my friend Narendra Modi. We also depend on supply lines and we are working with other countries. We are in contact with them all the time,” Israeli Prime Minister said.

Netanyahu is in talks with Israel’s crucial bilateral partners like India, the United States and the European Union to ensure a constant flow of supplies, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.

Netanyahu’s remarks came during joint statements with the finance minister, the economy and industry minister, the Bank of Israel’s governor and the finance ministry director-general on dealing with the economic implications of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister of Israel, while addressing his country, urged the people to change their greeting habits and maintain personal hygiene at all the times to better fight the deadly virus. Netanyahu had earlier asked Israelis to adopt Indian way of greeting by joining both hands for a ‘Namaste’.

He said fighting coronavirus “demands a sacrifice of old habits” and keeping a vigilant eye over elders.

“I am asking you to do this in order to safeguard your father, your grandfather and your grandmother,” Netanyahu added.

WHO has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic. While several countries have clamped down on foreign arrivals.

India has also suspended all international visas until April 15. The government announced late on Wednesday, “All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment, project visas have been suspended until April 15”.