Photo Credit: Manuel Schneider / Wikimedia
Ben Gurion International Airport

One of the four Israelis who remained in Japan to be treated for the coronavirus has recovered from the illness and arrived Wednesday morning at Ben Gurion International Airport, Ynet reported.

Rachel Biton, 74, told reporters at the airport, “I could have stayed overnight in Tokyo but I decided not to wait and to reunite with my family as soon as possible.” Biton was tested again at Tokyo Airport to ensure she did not have a fever before boarding the plane.

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1,600 Israelis are in Self-Quarantine
As part of the Health Ministry’s attempt to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Israel, 1600 Israeli citizens have returned from various destinations abroad directly to self-quarantine at home.

In accordance with the guidelines of the Health Ministry, anyone who recently visited China, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau or Singapore must self-quarantine at home or in a medical facility for 14 days.

The map of Israelis who are living in the isolation as they wait to make sure they are not infected stretches all the way from Kiryat Shmona in the north all the way south to Be’er Sheva in the heart of the Negev.

El Al Cancels Flight to Milan
Israel’s national carrier, El Al Airlines, canceled a flight that was scheduled to depart for Milan, Italy on Thursday morning due to concerns over the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

It’s not clear when or if there will be another flight to Italy from Israel at this point.

Korean Air Suspends Flights to Israel
South Korea’s official national carrier likewise has suspended all flights from the capital city of Seoul to Ben Gurion International Airport until March 31, it was announced Wednesday.

German Minister: ‘Prepare for Pandemic’
Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn warned on Wednesday that the country is at the beginning of a coronavirus epidemic.

The announcement came after new cases appeared which could no longer be traced to the original source of the virus in China.

Spahn urged health ministries in Germany’s federal states, as well as hospitals and employers, to review their pandemic planning, Reuters reported.

“The infection chains are partially no longer trackable, and that is a new thing,” Spahn told a news conference. “Large numbers of people have had contact with the patients, and that is a big change to the 16 patients we had until now where the chain could be traced back to the origin in China.”

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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.