Photo Credit: Tsahi Ben-Ami / Flash 90
El Al airlines, the national airline of Israel

A plane is ready to be dispatched to Japan to retrieve the 13 Israelis who are on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored in Yokohama and who have been quarantined for the past two weeks after the virus was discovered on board.

The PassportCard overseas travel insurance company stated Sunday that the plane was ready in Turkey for takeoff, and after receiving clearance from Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Health, it will leave for Japan.

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The plane is expected to leave as soon as Tuesday. Upon their return from Japan, the Israelis will go into isolation and medical surveillance.

Three other Israelis have contracted Coronavirus on the boat quarantined off Japan’s coast, Israel’s Ministry of Health said Sunday.

They are the first Israelis to contract the virus.

They were transferred to a hospital in Japan, and Israel has sent a specialist doctor who will be in direct contact with the relevant parties in Japan and accompany them in the medical procedure.

Dozens of passengers have already been removed from the ship and hospitalized after testing positive for the virus.

Despite several scares, Israel itself has yet to contend with a patient suffering from COVID-19, as the coronavirus is now called, with several people tested for the virus all proving negative.

Israeli authorities have issued several directives aimed at blocking the entry of individuals suffering from Coronavirus into the country and its spread among the Israeli population.

Israel understands that it is only a question of time before the virus appears in the country but is taking several measures to minimize this occurrence.

China’s National Health Commission stated Sunday that at least 71,336 cases of COVID-19, Wuhan coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, including at least 1,776 deaths. Some 11,150 have recovered.

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