Nine South Koreans who tested positive for coronavirus visited Israel

On Saturday, the total number of coronavirus cases in South Korea more than doubled to 433, Samsung closed down a factory after one employee had been confirmed to be infected.

Workers from a disinfection service company sanitize a street in front of a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony where a woman known as "Patient 31" attended a service in Daegu, South Korea, February 19, 2020 (photo credit: YONHAP VIA REUTERS)
Workers from a disinfection service company sanitize a street in front of a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony where a woman known as "Patient 31" attended a service in Daegu, South Korea, February 19, 2020
(photo credit: YONHAP VIA REUTERS)
Israel's Ministry of Health confirmed that nine South Koreans who tested positive for coronavirus were in Israel February 8-15. The ministry is working on tracking their movements so they can isolate individuals who came in close contact with the group.
The Health Ministry released the group's schedule so citizens can check if they were in contact with the group. The group visited the city of Caesarea, Masada, Mount Olives, Mount Zion, the national park in Beersheba,  as well as several churches and other places.
As a result of this incident, as well the the growing number of cases of the coronavirus in South Korea, the Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration has barred entry to tourist coming from Seoul through Ben-Gurion Airport who are supposed to arrive tonight. Israelis who are on the flight will be asked t follow the directions of the ministry of health. This is not yet a comprehensive ban that would include all South Korean nationals.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz instructed the Foreign Ministry on Saturday to hold an urgent discussion on the possible significance and international implications that the Korean tourists who visited Israel that were found carrying the Wuhan coronavirus would have for the State of Israel, and to take necessary preventative actions around the world.
Minister Katz instructed the ministry's management to support any stringent directive that the Ministry of Health provided with regard to preventing the entry of passengers from various countries around the world that could pose a health risk to the Israeli population. 
"The main consideration is the preservation of both the health of Israeli citizens and the ability of the State of Israel to continue and maintain good relations with countries around the world, as a country that adheres to strict rules and is not infected with the Corona virus."
 
The Health Ministry has ordered that anyone who was in direct contact with the group, which is defined as having been within 2 meters (6.56 feet) of them for at least 15 minutes quarantine themselves at home for 14 days since the date of contact. 
The ministry also said that anyone who develops coronavirus symptoms, such as a fever of more than 38 degrees celsius (100 degrees fahrenheit) or coughing needs to be examined by a medical professional.
Those who were in the same place as the group at the same time, but were not in direct contact with them are not required to go into quarantine. 

Coronavirus
cases in South Korea more than doubled on Saturday to 433 and officials flagged the tally could rise significantly higher as more than 1,000 people who attended a church at the center of the outbreak reported flu-like symptoms.
Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 142 new cases at a morning briefing and another 87 in the afternoon. It had reported 204 cases on Friday.
 
Samsung Electronics on Saturday said one of the virus cases had been confirmed at its mobile device factory complex in Gumi, causing a shutdown of the facility there until Monday morning. Gumi is close to Daegu.
Samsung's factory in Gumi accounts for a small portion of its total smartphone production, as the world's top smartphone maker produces most of its products in Vietnam and India.
The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China, where it originated, rose to 2,345 as of Friday with over 76,000 people infected. 
 
Also among the new cases were the first reported infections in Busan, South Korea's second-largest city, and on the Island of Jeju, a popular tourist destination.
KCDC designated both the city of Daegu, which has a population of 2.5 million people, and Cheongdo county, home to around 43,000 people, as "special care zones" on Friday. Officials were sending in military medical staff and other health workers, and extra resources, including hospital beds.
At least half of the national cases are linked to a 61-year-old woman known as "Patient 31" who attended religious services at a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. The woman had no recent record of overseas travel, authorities said.
KCDC said on Saturday they had obtained a list of 9,300 people who had attended church services, around 1,200 of whom had complained of flu-like symptoms.
"We are conducting investigation based on the database ... we have obtained," KCDC Director Jeong Eun-kyeong told reporters.
The church and Cheongdo hospital outbreaks may also be linked as several church members attended a funeral at the hospital for the brother of the founder of the church earlier this month. President Moon Jae-in has called for officials to investigate potential links.
Cases from the hospital surged from 18 to 111 overnight, with all but two of the new infections from the hospital's psychiatric unit.
"We think the patients had repeated exposure given the isolated facility of the psychiatric wards where many patients share the same room," KCDC Director Jeong Eun-kyeong told reporters.
The hospital, which has around 600 patients and staff, has been closed and patients are still being transferred to other facilities.
SEOUL RALLIES GO AHEAD
Two people have died in South Korea in the current outbreak; a woman in her fifties who was moved from to Busan for treatment and a 63-year-old man. Both were patients at the Cheongdo hospital.
Among the new cases confirmed on Saturday, two were in Busan, while one was on Jeju, a soldier stationed on the island who had come into contact with residents in the Daegu area. The government had previously banned all military personnel at a Daegu base from leaving the barracks.
In the capital of Seoul, thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday for regular weekend political rallies, despite the city's mayor on Friday saying the gatherings would be banned as part of containment measures.
Seoul police told Reuters they were aware of the ban but it would be an "abuse of power" for them to intervene. Police could only begin an investigation into the rallies if the city administration sued an individual or groups, an official said.
The coronavirus originated in China before spreading to some 26 countries and territories outside mainland China.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.