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Benjamin Netanyahu asks his countrymen to opt for 'Namaste' instead of shaking hands amid Coronavirus outbreak

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 5 March 2020, 13:03 IST
Benjamin Netanyahu

To avert the spread of coronavirus, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come up with a solution to greet people without touching one another. Rather than the normal handshake, Benjamin Netanyahu advices his countrymen to go for ‘Namaste’ to greet each other.

"Just avoid shaking hands as I do. You can try to implement the Indian system of Namaste or say another word like shalom, but find a way, any way of not shaking hands," Mr Netanyahu said. Benjamin Netanyahu also demonstrated how Indians greet each other with "Namaste".

The novel coronavirus proliferates through contact with droplets spread during coughing and sneezing, doctors say, apart from keeping contact to a minimum with an infected person, the precautionary measures include regular washing of hands and use of sanitisers.

Israeli Prime Minister’s acquaintance with Indian traditions are not surprising. Benjamin Netanyahu is known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with their friendship being extensively talked about in Indian and Israeli media. Netanyahu paid a visit to India in January 2018 while PM Modi visited Tel Aviv in 2017.

Benjamin Netanyahu, at a press conference said that several measures will be announced to prevent the spread of the disease.

"We have had to take rigorous steps to slow the spread of the disease in Israel, we have taken select isolation and flight policies and measures for flights," he said, reports news agency PTI.

Israel has 15 confirmed cases of the deadly pathogen but no deaths, with around 7,000 others in home-quarantine. Public gathering of more than 5,000 people have been prohibited in Israel and urged people to avoid going abroad.

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First published: 5 March 2020, 13:03 IST