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28 February 2020 - 14:12
News ID: 449334
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More than 1,400 Israelis have been ordered to self-quarantine after returning from countries hit by Coronavirus, a health ministry official disclosed, raising the doubt that thousands of potential patients may not have isolated themselves.

RNA - Speaking with 103FM Radio about the new coronavirus and his own self-quarantine, Health Ministry Deputy Director-General Professor Itamar Grotto, who recently returned from Japan, stated that according to the statistics he has, over 1,400 Israelis have been ordered to self-quarantine after returning from affected countries, Israel National News reported.

“I assume that there are many who did not report, maybe 2,000. You need to fill out a form to report it – I also did that,” he said, adding, “The difficulty is obvious, this isn’t pleasant."

Prof. Grotto was scheduled to finish his quarantine this weekend, but stated that he was "on the flight with the Koreans who were on their way to Japan” and therefore an extra week was added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on all Israelis who have developed coronavirus symptoms and have returned from aboard to get tested for the COVID-19.

On Wednesday, health officials announced anyone returning from Italy must remain in quarantine for a period of 14 days, making it the first European nation to be included on a list that includes Hong Kong, Macau, China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced he would be banning entry of non-Israelis arriving from Italy.

As the coronavirus is spreading to more countries around the world in recent weeks, and the disease was detected in several European, Asian, American and African countries, Tel Aviv confirmed Thursday that Israel has its first case of coronavirus of someone not in quarantine, in a man who returned from Italy four days ago. Two other Israelis were confirmed earlier in the month to have contracted the virus while on the Diamond Princess cruise liner.

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, which started in China in December, has since infected over 80,000 worldwide in about 40 countries and claimed over 2,800 lives. Israel has claimed that no one has been died as a result of the disease so far.

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