Coronavirus: Israel closes border with Egypt – 40 infected, 100,000 self-quarantined

BREAKING: Israel number of Coronavirus cases has reached 40; 11 new cases in the last hour.

A 45-year-old man arrived at Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva with high body temperature and tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the 40th infected in Israel.

Israel currently has around 100,000 citizens in self-quarantine due to the outbreak of the virus.

Israel closed its border with Egypt over fears of the spread of Coronavirus, the Ministry of Health announced. Israeli tourism companies have been notified that the border with Egypt will be closed Sunday, starting at 5 pm.

Foreigners or non-residents who have been to Egypt in the past 14 days will be prohibited from entering Israel, Interior Minister Arieh Deri has announced.

Israel is expected to announce further travel restrictions in the coming days.

PM Netanyahu said he intends to enlist school children and IDF soldiers to assist in disinfecting public places in order to mitigate the chances of the virus spreading.

“The pandemic does not affect children or teens, thank God,” he said. “We have to disinfect public spaces… buses, trains and the like.”

“Israel is almost in the best possible state of preparedness because of our strict policies so we have things under control and intend to keep them that way,” Netanyahu said.
“I’ve spoken to world leaders and initiated a conference call for later in the week do see how countries can help each other in this world-wide pandemic,” Netanyahu added.

All international flights currently using Terminal 1 at Ben Gurion Airport, will be moved to Terminal 3 in order to reduce operating costs in light of the expected reduced operations at the airport, the Israel Airports Authority announced.

The closure for international flights will start March 14 and run until the end of April. Domestic flights will continue as usual from Terminal 1 at this time.

The IDF is continuing to work to prevent the spread of the virus among soldiers and officers. As of Sunday morning, 1040 soldiers have entered quarantine, the majority of whom after they returned from vacations overseas.

On Friday the IDF announced that to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, no soldiers will be allowed to leave the country. In addition, all joint military drills in Israel and abroad have been canceled.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Arab territories has risen to 19, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health announced on Saturday.

The ministry said 18 local residents have been placed in quarantine for 14 days – 16 in Jericho and two at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

“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.