israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with Israel's health minister regarding preparations and new regulations for the coronavirus, at the Health Ministry in Jerusalem
israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with Israel's health minister regarding preparations and new regulations for the coronavirus, at the Health Ministry in Jerusalem
AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday encouraged his countrymen to adopt 'Namaste' - the Indian way of greeting - instead of the normal handshake as one of the measures to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Following a review meeting to fight the spread of coronavirus, holding a press conference, Netanyahu said that several measures will be announced to prevent and combat the spread of the virus.

He also added that simple measures like avoiding the normal handshake while greeting people may possibly be replaced, Interestingly, he said that one should greet people with the Indian 'Namaste'.

He even went on to demonstrate at the press conference as to how the Indians do 'Namaste' while they greet people.

Netanyahu demonstrates how the Indians greet each other
Netanyahu demonstrates how the Indians greet each other
AFP

Well, only if he knew how the virus spreads, he wouldn't have said this.

Continuing to speak at the press conference, Israeli PM further said that "we are in the middle of a global epidemic", but Israel has done well as it was quick in taking action to prevent the spread of the virus in the country.

Well, this is not the first time someone has advised people to greet people with a 'Namaste' instead of a handshake. Earlier Bollywood actor Anupam Kher had shared an informative video in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. He had advised his fans to greet people with a 'Namaste' rather than shaking hands or hugging thus obliterating the fear of spreading germs through physical contact.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel experienced a taste of the new mindset among people after a minister waved away when she attempted to shake hands during the meeting. However, Merkel and other ministers laughed off at the minister's gesture which was seen in a viral video.

Israel has 15 confirmed cases of the deadly virus but no deaths, with some 7,000 others in home-quarantine.

Health Minister Yaacov Litzman announced a ban on public gatherings of more than 5,000 people.

"We will not hesitate to do things even if they are unpopular. I don't want to call it an epidemic - but it's not far from it," he said.

The Health Ministry has asked people to refrain from any unnecessary foreign trip.

Over 3,200 people have died and 95,000 have been infected so far as a result of the coronavirus worldwide.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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