Netanyahu Says Israel to Begin Developing Coronavirus Vaccine

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he has instructed government researchers to work on developing and then producing a coronavirus vaccine, adding that it was inevitable that the virus, which has killed 305 people, all of one of whom died in China, would spread to Israel.

Israel's Institute for Biological Research and the Israeli Health Ministry have been tasked with creating a vaccine, Netanyahu said after meeting with officials about how to address the spread of the virus. The Israeli National Security Council will coordinate efforts to deal with the problem in Israel, the Prime Minister's Office said.

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"Our goal is first of all to postpone the virus' arrival in Israel. I say 'postpone' because it is inevitable that it will arrive," Netanyahu said. The aim, he said, is then to identify those infected, to quarantine them at home for two weeks and to treat them.

"We are also briefing the Palestinian Authority about all the preventative steps and public health [issues] that they also need to take into account," he added.