רחובות סין בזמן התפשטות וירוס הקורונה מתרוקנים
Chinese health workers in the city Wuhan
Photo: AFP
Chinese health workers in the city Wuhan

Israel evacuates diplomats' families from China amid deadly virus outbreak

Health ministry considers ordering Israeli travelers returning from China to refrain from going to public spaces for several days, even if not showing symptoms

Inbar Tvizer, Itamar Eichner |
Published: 01.29.20 , 18:32
The Foreign Ministry decided on Wednesday to evacuate Israeli diplomats' families stationed in China, with its diplomatic missions operating at a reduced capacity.
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  • Several diplomats have extended their Chinese New Year vacations and remained in Israel.
    רחובות סין בזמן התפשטות וירוס הקורונה מתרוקניםרחובות סין בזמן התפשטות וירוס הקורונה מתרוקנים
    Chinese health workers in the city Wuhan
    (Photo: AFP)
    As of now, some 20 people were evacuated by the ministry from areas affected by the deadly pathogen.
    Also on Wednesday, the health ministry announced it was considering ordering Israeli travelers returning from China to refrain from going to public spaces for several days, even if they do not show any symptoms.
    A statement by the ministry said that its officials are "examining the entry policy into China on a wide scale," though it did not specify whether it includes halting flights to and from the Asian country.
    "The issue will be discussed by the epidemics research team at the ministry at upcoming meetings and as a decision is made on the issue it will be officially published," said the ministry.
    The United States and Japan flew citizens out of the Chinese city at the epicenter of a new virus outbreak on Wednesday, as the death toll rose sharply to 132 and the first case of the virus was discovered in the Middle East.
    The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is confident in China's ability to contain the coronavirus, but concerns are mounting, as its health authorities reported the number of confirmed cases had jumped by 1,459 to 5,974.
    The number of deaths from the flu-like virus rose by 26 to 132, almost all in the province of Hubei, the capital of which is the city of Wuhan, where the virus emerged last month in a wild animal market. The central province of about 60 million people is under virtual lockdown.
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