Israelis from Japan’s ‘coronavirus ship’ arrive safely back home

Four Israelis who have tested positive for the virus are still being treated at a military hospital in Japan.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

After a two-week quarantine onboard the coronavirus-hit Diamond Cruise ship, 11 seemingly unaffected Israeli passengers returned home on Friday morning.

As a precaution, they were immediately taken by Magen David Adom personnel to a special area set up for them in Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and placed in quarantine for 14 days.

“I know this is a complicated time for you and you will not be allowed to see your families or walk around, we will try our best to make your stay a pleasant one,” Dr. Galia Barkai, head of Telemedicine Services at Sheba, told the group upon their arrival.

Dr. Gadi Siegel, who is in charge of the unit, told Israel Hayom, “We know they were not sick when they got on the ship, and we are relating to them as such. We are keeping an eye on their overall condition, and we are ready for any developments.”

“The criticism that we are being overcautious may be legitimate, but it must be remembered that we are dealing with a disease that we know very little about, so it’s important to keep track of even small details,” he said.

The Diamond Princess began allowing passengers who tested negative for the virus off the ship Wednesday when the government-set 14-day quarantine had ended.

Four Israelis who tested positive for the virus are still being treated at a military hospital in Japan. According to the Israeli consul in Japan, Revital Ben-Naim, the four infected Israelis “are feeling well.”

The new virus began in China late last year and has affected tens of thousands of people, mostly in central China’s Hubei province. The 621 cases confirmed among the Diamond Princess’s original 3,711 people on board are the most anywhere outside China. In all, Japan has more than 700 confirmed cases, including the country’s first death unrelated to the ship, reports the Associated Press.