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Israel closes its airspace to flights coming from South Korea and Japan

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On Saturday, Israel closed its airspace to flights from South Korea and Japan, in response to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Consequently, about two hundred non-Israelis traveling on a plane from Seoul were unable to enter Israel and had to return to South Korea, according to the ministry.

An AFP correspondent reported that the plane belonging to the South Korean Airlines stopped outside the plane’s stop zone at the airport, amid the spread of ambulances on the runway, and only 12 Israeli passengers were allowed to get off the plane.

The ambulances took them to their homes where they were placed in quarantine, according to Israeli relief agencies.

These measures add to previous restrictions imposed on flights from China, Macau, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Health, Moshe Bar Siman Tove, stressed in a press conference the large increase in the number of people infected with the new Coronavirus in South Korea and Japan in the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health confirmed on Saturday that it was found that nine South Korean tourists had visited Israel last week and had returned to their country.

It was not clear whether they were infected with the virus when they visited Israel or were infected with it upon their return to their country.

On Friday, the Israeli Ministry of Health announced the registration of the first infection of the newborn virus, Corona, with a woman aboard the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”, which was quarantined in Japan since the beginning of February.

“After testing in the central laboratory of the Ministry of Health for passengers returning from a ship from Japan, the results showed a confirmed infection with the virus for one of the revenues,” the Israeli authorities said in a statement.

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