US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — At a Sunday government meeting, the head of the Ministry of Health, Yaakov Litzman, stated that 20,000 Israelis are currently in quarantine due to the threat of the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19. As of March 8, Israel has officially confirmed 25 cases of infection with this disease.
According to the order of the Ministry of Health, the Israelis who returned from China, South Korea, Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Andorra, and San Marino were supposed to subject themselves to two-week home quarantine. It is expected that from this week the same order will apply to Israelis returning from the United States (in particular, from New York, Washington, California). The list of “dangerous” countries is growing.
The extent to which the order of the Ministry of Health is being followed is unknown. But violators of the quarantine order face criminal prosecution.
According to the Ministry of Education, currently 3878 students and teachers are in quarantine (640 went to study and work after quarantine).
Foreigners arriving from the above countries will not be able to enter Israel (this does not apply to US citizens yet), unless they provide evidence of the possibility of being in home quarantine. The Office of Population and Immigration announced that hundreds of foreigners were denied entry to Israel, thousands of European citizens voluntarily left Israel. Tourists who were in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon (during the last 14 days) are denied entry to Israel. Canceled many flights.
Since last week, a complete ban on holding international conferences in Israel has been introduced. Residents of Israel returning from international conferences held abroad will be required to remain in home quarantine for 14 days (the media wrote that this is not likely to apply to those returning from the United States from the AIPAC conference). A complete ban has been imposed on holding mass events and meetings in Israel with the participation of more than 5,000 people.
In addition, a complete ban has been introduced on participation in meetings in which more than 100 participants participate, for people who have returned from any place abroad in the past 14 days. Against this background, all mass events and processions timed to the Purim holiday (including Adloyada in Holon and other cities of the country) were canceled.
A complete ban was introduced on the departure of employees of the healthcare system abroad, and it was recommended to ban the departure of employees of the public service department. The Israeli Defense Forces command forbade conscripts from visiting high coronavirus infected countries. It was decided to interrupt the joint exercises of the Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. Armed Forces Juniper Cobra 2020.
Due to the fact that older people have a harder time tolerating coronavirus disease, the Ministry of Health recommended that people aged 60 years and older, as well as people with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory diseases or weakened immunity, avoid crowded places and contacting returnees from any place abroad, as well as people who have symptoms or who are likely to get sick. The Ministry of Health recommends strict adherence to hygiene rules, avoiding handshakes and hugs.
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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.