Seven Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Health Ministry, which is asking anyone who encountered the patients to enter isolation and get themselves checked.
The seventh Israeli is Roni Bargill from Migdal HaEmek, who posted on Facebook over the weekend that he had returned from Italy last Saturday and was told by health officials that he could continue his routine as usual. Then, on Thursday, he was instructed to enter isolation, but by then he had come in contact with many people.
“I apologize in advance for any harm I caused anyone,” he wrote on Facebook. “It was obviously done without my knowledge.”
The Health Ministry over the weekend released an emergency report of Bargill’s whereabouts, which include his local Shufersal and a restaurant in Afula. Israelis who suspect they might have coronavirus should call the Magen David Adom hotline for consultation.
Israelis who have thus far been diagnosed with the virus have entered isolation at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, including Bargill.
The seven Israelis are as follows: Three who returned from Italy last week have tested positive for the virus, plus one of their spouses. In addition, there were two Israelis who returned under close supervision from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, who were diagnosed with COVID-19 while they were already in isolation at Sheba. In addition, an Israeli who contracted the virus while aboard the ship, and was treated in Japan and then released to Israel on Friday, tested positive upon arrival in the country.
Channel 12 interviewed one of the people who was in isolation at Sheba, who said, “I feel good, with no symptoms or signs of the virus.”
Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa and Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon are also preparing to be able to accept coronavirus patients and treat them in isolation, according to Israel’s Channel 12.
As a result of the growing number of cases in Italy, El Al announced that it was suspending flights to the European country on Friday. In addition, the national carrier said that all flights to Thailand will be canceled starting Monday.
The Education Ministry has canceled all student trips abroad and said it will not approve requests for other delegations until further notice.
According to the February 28 World Health Organization (WHO) report, which was sent to the press on Saturday, there are 83,652 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 78,691 in China. Outside of China, there are 4,691 cases, more than half of which are now in South Korea.
Officials in Washington reported Saturday night that a person has died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus – the first such death in the United States. As of Saturday’s WHO report, there were 59 cases of the virus in the US.
The Lebanese Health Ministry announced Saturday that three more individuals were diagnosed with the virus, bringing that country’s total to seven.
Meanwhile, Iraq announced on Saturday evening that five more cases of coronavirus were found in the country. Four of them were in Baghdad and one in Babel province.
The number of patients in Italy continues to climb, with WHO over the weekend reporting 650 people diagnosed – the most in any European country.
In France, gatherings of over 5,000 people were banned to avoid the spread of the illness, leading to the cancellation of a marathon which was expecting a turnout of over 40,000 people.
Over the weekend, many new countries reported cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of countries up to 60, Channel 12 reported. Among the states are Belarus, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria and Qatar. WHO has raised the level of risk to “very high” worldwide.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.