Number of Corona patients in Israel climbs to 39, new restrictions introduced

March 9, 2020 by TPS
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The number of Israelis who have been infected with Coronavirus has climbed to 39, the Ministry of Health announced on Sunday evening, primarily Israelis who contracted the virus while abroad.

Infographic of the Coronavirus. Feb 22, 2020. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

One of the patients had returned to Israel from Spain, another from Italy, a third from Belgium and two from Austria. The five other patients were infected by other previously identified patients.

The Ministry of Health published the locations that the patients visited since returning to the country and asked the public who was on the flight with them or who may have encountered them in public to enter a self-imposed quarantine for 14 days.

All the Israeli patients are in light condition, except a 38-year-old man who is in serious condition.

Tens of thousands of Israelis have been sent into quarantine, mostly at home, out of fear that they may have contracted the virus.

Public events around the country have been cancelled, including events celebrating the Purim holiday and sports games.

The Ministry of Health announced that following the widespread infection in the Palestinian Authority ruled Bethlehem, it is directing anyone who has been in the Bethlehem area in the past 14 days to go into quarantine.

The Population and Immigration Authority announced that it was freezing the entry of foreigners arriving in Israel from Egypt.

The organizers of the March of the Living in Poland announced that the event was postponed to a later date.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the fight against Corona in the US.

Follow-up talks were held between the Israeli team dealing with the Coronavirus and the American team. The talks were held to “advance technological and scientific cooperation on the issue of the Coronavirus and to discuss joint ways of dealing with the challenges posed by the virus,” Netanyahu’s office stated.

At a later press conference, Netanyahu talked about “changing the situation, not only for the United States and for Israel, but for the world.”

The current focus is on technological solutions for widespread screening and perhaps home screening.

Touching on the various limitations imposed on travel and public events which have deeply affected the tourism and travel industry in Israel, Netanyahu said that “health takes precedence, over everything, this is life itself. But health also ensures the economy.”

“It must be understood that in such a situation, health ensures the economy because it is clear to you that if there is a very major outbreak of the disease, it will be very difficult to maintain the economy. Of course, this is still a difficult decision but that is why we are here,” he added.

Israeli researchers at MIGAL Institute last month that they have made a breakthrough on the way to developing an effective vaccine against Coronavirus and expect it to be ready in the coming weeks.

The novel Coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 109 countries around the world.

At least 110,100 cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, including at least 3,800 deaths. Some 62,300 have recovered.


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