Israel Turns Away South Korean Tourists, Brings Israelis Home With Special Ambulances

By Staff Reporter
Posted on 02/22/20 | News Source: Arutz-7

COVID-19 Coronavirus death toll in China now at more than 2,200, over 400 cases in South Korea.

Twelve Israeli tourists arrived from South Korea Saturday night, and the Health Ministry has ordered them to self-quarantine themselves at home.

The others on the Korean Air flight have been sent back to Seoul, where the flight originated.

On Saturday, South Korean officials confirmed that 229 new cases were diagnosed since Friday, bringing the total number in the country to 433. So far, two people have died in the country.

To prevent the Israelis from infecting others on their way home, they have been transported by Magen David Adom (MDA) staff, who have taken precautions including special suits, masks, hats, and glasses, according to the customary protocol. After the travelers have been returned home, the vehicles in which they traveled will be disinfected using a special system.

"Magen David Adom staff are prepared throughout the year, and act with skill and professionalism in any case in which they are asked to provide medical treatment and evacuation of patients suspected of infection with an infectious disease," MDA's Medical Department Head Rami Miller said. "Magen David Adom paramedics are safely evacuating the passengers who arrived from South Korea, while protecting themselves completely against infection."

MDA Director-General Eli Bin said: "Magen David Adom was prepared ahead of time for the self-quarantine of travelers arriving in Israel after visiting South Korea. The paramedics who are evacuating them are protected via complete suits intended for cases such as this, so that they will not be at risk. MDA is working in complete cooperation and coordination with the Health Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Airports Authority, and other bodies, and will continue doing everything it can to aid the national effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Israel."

Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov on Saturday evening held a meeting to discuss the exposures in Israel due to a group of South Korean tourists, nine of whom came down with the virus after returning to South Korea...

"Those who came in contact with these people need to quarantine themselves at home. That's an order, not a request. If we do not keep these guidelines, the disease will spread widely throughout Israel. We estimate that there is potential for the group to have infected others," he said. Read more at Arutz-7