Passengers on United Airlines flight UA90 from New Jersey to Ben Gurion Airport Wednesday worried that some of those on the flight may have coronavirus.
One of the passengers who spoke with Ynet said that a man from Brooklyn boarded that plane despite being ordered to remain in quarantine, while he is waiting for his COVID-19 test results.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Ministry of Defense on Wednesday to isolate all arrivals to the country from overseas in designated facilities as part of the effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Prime Minister's Office said that the directive would take effect immediately.
According to some reports, officials were considering submitting all arrivals from overseas to a test for the virus.
Passengers on the United Airlines flight said they were not tested before boarding and were not obligated to hand in any statement regarding their current medical condition.
The state of New York has been the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the United States. There are over 75,000 confirmed cases and over 1,700 deaths nationwide.
The city of New York is the focus of the major outbreak in the state of New York, with a serious spread of the disease being recorded in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn. About 19,000 patients were diagnosed with COVID -19 in the state of New Jersey.
"One of the passengers said he's sick, but he doesn't know if he has coronavirus and he's waiting for test results," said one of the passengers on the plane, utilizing the Wi-Fi on the flight.
"I asked the flight attendants, but they have no idea what to do," said that same person. "They said they can't do anything and that this person is putting everyone else on the flight in danger. There were some 200 people on board, including babies and the elderly. It's completely irresponsible to not address this."
"Someone on the flight coughed and it scared the whole plane," said a different passenger.
"He fell asleep with a mask on his face. I asked his friends if he's sick, and they said they don't know but that 'God decides all.' Everybody is at risk here and none of the crew cares."
"The flight crew said they can't do anything and that the flight will continue as usual," said another passenger.
The passengers were met upon landing in Israel by officials in white protective suits who took their temperatures. They were then gathered — at a safe distance from each other — and told to self-quarantine despite instructions from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that all arriving in the country must be quarantined at dedicated hotels.
First published: 18:29 , 04.01.20