Coronavirus: 22 Israelis infected – Thousands of tourists leave Israel and the PA

In the past two days, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has coordinated the departure of dozens of foreign tourist groups from the Palestinian Authority to Ben Gurion Airport and back to their home countries, in collaboration with the relevant foreign consulates and representative offices.

This decision came after tourists were involved in several cases of coronavirus contraction and disease in the Arab territories, which affected locals as well.

Among the tourists, 193 Austrians, 25 Italians, 1,029 Germans, 499 Spaniards, 323 French, and 88 Swiss citizens, all countries on the Health Ministry’s warning list of potential sources of infection, in addition to 546 from Poland and 497 Romanians all left the country left by Saturday.

The Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria coordinated the departure of hundreds of tourists in collaboration with all the security forces, the Police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Security Council, and the Health Ministry.

“Public health in Israel and the Palestinian Authority is always our top priority and particularly at this time. We are making every effort, in collaboration with all the relevant parties, to protect the health and wellbeing of the region’s residents”, the COGAT said in a statement.

Twenty two Israelis have been diagnosed with coronavirus and some 80,000 are in home-isolation. The last patient was diagnosed on Saturday night. He is a 50-year-old man who returned to Israel from Barcelona on March 1.

Patient number 21 is a Haifa resident in his 30s, who arrived in Israel from Austria on March 1. Patient number 20, a resident of central Israel also in his 30s, arrived on March 2 from Madrid.

The condition of the man diagnosed as the 16th case of the virus deteriorated on Friday. The 38-year-old resident of East Jerusalem works as a tour bus driver and was exposed to the virus while transporting a group of 21 Greek pilgrims who recently returned from Israel and have tested positive for the virus.