180 Israeli students quarantined after coronavirus exposure

"The potential that someone caught the virus from the [South Korean] tourists is high; whoever doesn't enter quarantine is endangering the public."

Employees work on a production line manufacturing face masks at a factory, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Fuzhou, Fujian province, China February 15, 2020 (photo credit: CNSPHOTO VIA REUTERS)
Employees work on a production line manufacturing face masks at a factory, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Fuzhou, Fujian province, China February 15, 2020
(photo credit: CNSPHOTO VIA REUTERS)
180 Israeli students are now in isolation after being exposed to South Korean tourists who tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a report by Channel 12.
The South Koreans returned home on February 15 from an eight-day visit to Israel. While it’s unknown whether the group contracted the virus before or after their return to South Korea, the Health Ministry is operating on the assumption that they arrived in Israel as carriers of the virus, which has a 14-day incubation period during which those infected are asymptomatic.
Speaking to reporters in Tel Aviv, Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov said the group had likely come into contact with “hundreds” of Israelis during their stay in the country. The ministry published the details of their itinerary, including visits to numerous Jerusalem churches, the Dead Sea, Masada, Beersheba, Caesarea and Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs.
All Israelis who came into contact with one of the infected individuals – defined as within two meters for at least 15 minutes – have been instructed to remain in isolation for two weeks.
The students will remain in quarantine only until Wednesday, as they were exposed two weeks ago.
Yesterday it was discovered that 90 students, 60 from Kiryat Haim, and 30 from Beersheba were exposed to the South Koreans. This morning an additional 90 students from Afula and 10 teachers were exposed after a trip to Masada at the same time the South Korean tourists were there.
Bar Siman Tov held a special press conference last night following fear of the coronavirus spreading. "We have an opportunity here to stay on top of the virus," he said. "The potential that someone caught the virus from the tourists is high; whoever doesn't enter quarantine is endangering the public."
Eytan Halon contributed to this post.


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