With global economic activities and supply of essential goods hit due to the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is dependent on "supply lines" from various countries and he has spoken to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
The deadly novel coronavirus that first originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year has claimed over 4,200 lives and infected more than 117,330 people across 107 countries and territories, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) describing the outbreak a pandemic.
"I also spoke to the prime minister of India, my friend Narendra Modi. We are dependent on supply lines from various countries. We are looking into it all the time," Netanyahu told a press conference on Wednesday. His 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.
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office, however, did not clearly spell out the subject of Netanyahu's discussions with Modi in its press release. The Israeli prime minister has announced a package of 10 billion NIS (USD 2.86 billion) to facilitate economic activity in the midst of challenges posed by the spread of the virus.
"The Israeli economy is in a better situation than most economies in the world: Unemployment is low, growth is high and the debt to GDP ratio is good," Netanyahu said. "However, we have a great challenge here that we all are feeling and which we are all aware of. In our view, we can also deal with it in a way that will allow us to get through it successfully in peace," he said.
"Not without difficulty, and not without sacrifice, but in the end, in peace, and I think that we can do this together in an optimal manner," Netanyahu asserted . The package lays special stress on the health sector and other businesses impacted by the coronavirus such as tourism and the aviation sector. It outlines financial assistance provisions for businesses affected by the global menace.