One of the Israelis infected with the coronavirus has recently arrived from Moscow, making it the first case of the virus apparently being brought into Israel from Russia, the Health Ministry said on Monday.
The health officials said the number of coronavirus cases in Israel has jumped to 39, with 11 people testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday alone. For the first time, the health authorities couldn’t trace the infection of one of the patients to a specific source.
The patient, whom the Health Ministry refers to as Case 38 (in order of diagnosis), is a 49-year-old resident of southern Israel who arrived from Moscow on March 5 and has been in home quarantine since then.
The man had flown from Tel Aviv to Barcelona on February 25, two days later took a flight to Switzerland, from which he flew to Moscow on March 2 until his return to the country two days later.
In addition, two of the newly confirmed cases are Israelis who recently returned from a holiday in the Spanish Tenerife island. The two went on an organized trip to the resort from February 25 until March 4. They have been in home quarantine since their arrival in Israel.
Another of the newly-diagnosed is a woman from southern Israel who recently returned from a trip to Italy. Two of the people she had travelled with were diagnosed with the virus several days ago.
She landed in Israel on February 26 and the following day worked a shift at the “Fortune” store in the Dalet neighborhood of Be’er Sheva. On February 28, the Health Ministry added Italy to the countries from which Israelis are required to self-quarantine, and the patient has been in isolation at home ever since.
Two other patients, both Tel Aviv residents, returned to Israel on March 5 from Austria and Belgium respectively and have been in home-quarantine since then.
Four others, all between the ages of 50 and 70, have contracted the virus in Israel after coming in direct contact with people already infected with the virus.
Thirty-six people are still hospitalized with the virus, including a 38-year-old East Jerusalem man who remains in serious condition after driving a group of Greek pilgrims who positive for the virus upon their arrival in Greece. Three others appear to have recovered from the illness.