נחיתת ישראלים מ ספינת הקורונה קורונה נתב"ג מטוס
Israelis released from the Diamond Princess cruise arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport early Friday
Photo: MedAssist
Israelis released from the Diamond Princess cruise arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport early Friday

Israelis released from 'coronavirus cruise' quarantined near Tel Aviv

While four found to have been exposed to the virus on Diamond Princess liner remain in Japan for treatment, 11 are now in isolation at Sheba Medical Center, will undergo medical examinations Friday as hospital officials say they will do whatever possible to make their confinement as pleasant as possible

Sivan Hilaie, Itay Blumenthal |
Published: 02.21.20 , 08:01
Eleven of the 15 Israelis kept in quarantine on a cruise ship in a Japanese dock arrived safely at Ben-Gurion Airport early Friday and were transported directly to a quarantine area at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv.
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  • They will be allowed to reunite with their families after the 14-day period of isolation is over.
    "We are healthy, we are not sick," said of the passengers, as he said a blessing for his safe return to Israel.
    נחיתת ישראלים מ ספינת הקורונה קורונה נתב"ג מטוסנחיתת ישראלים מ ספינת הקורונה קורונה נתב"ג מטוס
    Israelis released from the Diamond Princess cruise arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport early Friday
    (Photo: MedAssist)
    The other four Israelis, who have all been found to have contracted the coronavirus, have remained in Japan for treatment.
    The 11 people settled into their living quarters and will be communicating via a control room nearby.
    Dr. Galia Barkai, the head of Telemedicine Services at Sheba, welcomed the group.
    "I know this is a complicated time for you and you will not be allowed to see your families or walk around, we will try our best to make your stay a pleasant one," she said.
    מטוס הקורונה הישראלי ביפןמטוס הקורונה הישראלי ביפן
    The Israelis held in quarantine on a cruise liner are repatriated by private plane
    (Photo: Israeli embassy in Japan)
    Sheba's director, Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, said that the main focus would be on easing the fears of the 11 people and quickly verifying their medical state.
    "We are currently trying to mitigate the level of anxiety and uncertainty as we examine the patients to see whether they have been exposed to the virus," he said. "We will know more later in the day."
    The private jet used to bring the Israelis home made one stop to refuel in Georgia before landing at Ben-Gurion Airport.
    The crew left immediately after the passengers disembarked, in accordance with local Health Ministry instructions.
    הישראלים מגיעים לבית חולים תל השומרהישראלים מגיעים לבית חולים תל השומר
    Sheba Medical Center staff prepare for the quarantine patients to arrive
    (Photo: Avi Moalem)
    The medical center conducted two drills Thursday, simulating the transport of the 11 people from the airport.
    Yoni Levi, whose mother and sisters were among those who were on the ship and returned Friday, said the families were given a tour of the facility and an explanation of the expected treatment.
    "We have brought them items from home and put them in their rooms and will see them in two weeks. Until then we will be talking to them via Skype," he said.
    ההכנה של חדרי הבידוד לחוזרים מספינת הדיימונד פרינסס בשיבאההכנה של חדרי הבידוד לחוזרים מספינת הדיימונד פרינסס בשיבא
    The quarantine unit set up at Sheba Medical Center
    (Photo: Ido Erez)
    A spokesperson for the families thanked the people of Israel and the medical teams for their concern and dedication.
    According to the World Health Organization, over half of the coronavirus cases outside of China were on board the Diamond Princess.

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