Two of the passengers that were on the Japanese Princess Diamond cruise ship, Shimon Dahan and Rochale Ofarim, were released from the hospital in Tokyo on Thursday after recovering from the novel coronavirus.
Dahan is staying at the Chabad House in Tokyo while he waits for his flight to Israel, hosted by Chabad envoy Rabbi Benjamin Edrei, Chief Rabbi of Japan.
However, because Rochale's husband, Oded, is still hospitalized with the virus in Japan and is expected to be released next week, she will wait for his release and return with him.Dahan and Ofarim are the second and third Israelis to be released out of four who were diagnosed with the virus on the ship, after Dahan's sister Rachel Biton was released on Tuesday.
The three released Israelis underwent numerous tests to ensure they no longer had any trace of the highly contagious virus. Upon Biton's arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport, a final test was taken and she was released to her home in Eilat.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Biton, 73, spoke emotionally about the support she received in Japan. “The hospital was wonderful,” she said. “The doctors and nurses were wonderful.”
It is expected that the two newly-recovered Israelis would undergo the same tests upon their return to Israel.
“I met my family members at the airport, and we cried tears of joy,” Biton said, noting that the family celebrated with a thanksgiving party. She said she thanked God for her recovery.
Oded Ofarim is currently the last Israeli remaining in quarantine in Japan after contracting the coronavirus on the ship.Oded and Rochale Ofarim from the Givat Hashlosha Kibbutz were the first Israelis on the Diamond Princess to be diagnosed with coronavirus. They were taken off the ship and evacuated to a Japanese military hospital, an hour and a quarter from Tokyo.
The other 11 Israelis who were aboard the cruise ship returned on February 21 and since then have been in quarantine at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer. Two of the returnees have since been diagnosed with the virus.On Thursday morning, one of the infected Israelis took a follow-up test that came out negative. All of the Israelis however, will remain in quarantine for their full 14 days.