Photo Credit: NIAID-RML / flickr
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

Two more cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus have been diagnosed according to Israel’s Health Ministry, bringing the total number of infected people to 12 as of Monday.

Both patients had recently traveled to Italy, the ministry said, returning to Israel on February 25 and 26 respectively. One patient is a man from Ramat Gan, the other is a woman from Ashdod.


Both patients are quarantined. The Health Ministry said that details of their flights back to Israel and information about their movements in Israel will be released shortly so that anyone who might have come into contact with them can take the appropriate action as soon as possible.

Other Middle Eastern nations are also joining the list of those who are wrestling with the illness.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan diagnosed its first patient this weekend, and Saudi Arabia reported its first confirmed case of the virus on Monday as well.

At present, more than 5,000 Israelis are under quarantine in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Jewish State.

Incoming flights from a number of affected countries have been barred for a temporary period, and flights to the countries have been suspended as well.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the majority of the new cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours was for the first time reported outside mainland China.

“There were almost nine times more COVID-19 cases reported outside China than inside China,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at a briefing in Geneva.

Outbreaks in South Korea, Iran and Italy were the greatest concern, he said, adding that a delegation from the WHO has arrived in Iran to offer assistance.


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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.