Photo Credit: Ethan Schwartz / IsraAID
IsraAID preparing to send medical supplies to China from Tel Aviv to aid in the fight against the Wuhan coronavirus, 2019-nCoV on February 3, 2020

Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid agency IsraAID, in partnership with the Israel-China Chamber of Commerce, INNONATION, and David Ashkenazi of ICCB Capital, sent a shipment of medical supplies on the last flight from Tel Aviv to China on Monday February 3, 2020.

Up to this point the World Health Organization (WHO) reports there have been more than 17,300 confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus (2019-nCoV) worldwide with more than 360 deaths reported thus far, all but one in China.

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With transportation to China largely cut off due to fears of contagion, there is an ongoing, severe shortage of medical supplies and protective gear, particularly in the worst-affected areas near Wuhan, where the outbreak started.

IsraAID’s contribution was sent directly to the Chinese Ministry of Health for use, officials said.

IsraAID said in a release sent to JewishPress.com the agency will continue to monitor the situation and “may launch a secondary response, including Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for humanitarian aid workers and first responders working in the area, focusing on stress relief.”

In past years, the humanitarian NGO has responded to multiple epidemics and health-related disasters across around the globe, including providing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for aid workers, burial teams, and community members affected by the spread of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone in 2014; and supporting survivors of the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent exposure to radiation amid the meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011.

“We are all very concerned about the spread of coronavirus, and we are grateful for all the courageous work done by Chinese medical teams,” said IsraAID CEO Yotam Polizer.

“It’s important for us to do our part by sending relief supplies and sharing our expertise in the field of stress management and trauma reduction.”

Is the corona virus becoming a pandemic?
Many infectious disease experts around the globe are becoming increasingly convinced the Wuhan coronavirus is likely to become a pandemic — an ongoing epidemic on two or more continents — The New York Times reported on Sunday.

A pandemic, according to the World Health Organization, is the worldwide spread of a new disease, a global disease outbreak such as that which took place with HIV/AIDS. Another example is that of the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic in 2009, which killed some 285,000 people around the world.

At present the illness has been diagnosed in 25 different countries worldwide.

In Wuhan, a new 1,000-bed hospital to treat patients with coronavirus opened Monday, according to the Xinhua news agency. The hospital was built from the ground up, entirely, within 10 days. Here’s how it was done:

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.