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9 Mar, 2020 19:43

Israel announces 14-day ‘isolation’ for anyone entering the country in attempt to fight coronavirus spread

Israel announces 14-day ‘isolation’ for anyone entering the country in attempt to fight coronavirus spread

Anyone arriving in Israel will need to go through a 14-day quarantine, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced as part of an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The measure will apply immediately for all Israeli citizens returning to the country, and it will take effect for non-citizens on Thursday. Foreign nationals who cannot prove to officials they have the resources to self-quarantine for two weeks will not be allowed to enter the country. The measure will last for two weeks. 

"This is a tough decision, but it is essential to maintain public health - and public health precedes everything," Netanyahu said in a public statement.

Israeli researchers have been hard at work developing a vaccine. Ofir Akunis, Israel’s minister of science and technology, praised scientists at the Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL) who said they could have a vaccine ready in three weeks and ready for distribution in 90 days.

“Congratulations to MIGAL on this exciting breakthrough. I am confident that there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat,” Okunis said in response to the news.

Israel's 14-day quarantine is one of the more drastic responses to the spread of the novel coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19 by the WHO. Italy, which has been the most affected country in Europe, has turned their entire state into a 'red zone' and banned public gatherings, but they are dealing with over 9,000 reported cases and nearly 500 deaths. 

Israel, thus far, has 42 reported cases of the coronavirus and no deaths.

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