Israeli authorities confirmed on Friday the first case of a new coronavirus, in a passenger who had been placed in quarantine on the liner Diamond Princess before being repatriated this week to Israel.
Read also: Coronavirus: Diamond Princess passengers start to disembark
"One of the passengers returning from the liner to Japan tested positive after examinations carried out at the central laboratory of the Ministry of Health," Israeli authorities said in a brief statement, adding that the dozen other Israeli passengers from returning home was not infected with the virus.
Eleven of the 15 Israelis who had been quarantined on the Diamond Princess arrived in Israel on Friday. The people were tested and one of them, a woman, was diagnosed with the new coronavirus and placed in containment, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health. They were all quarantined for a period of 14 days at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer (center). The other four Israelis who were on the liner Diamond Princess are still in Japan.
Read also: Japan: Americans confined on the Diamond Princess repatriated
The arrival of the new coronavirus in Israel is "inevitable," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this month, calling on medical authorities to work on a vaccine to counter the virus that emerged in China. The Israeli authorities had already prohibited flights from China from landing in the country at the end of January and announced that all people already in Israel but coming or having stopped in China should stay at home for 14 days. Authorities also barred entry into Israeli territory this week of all people, except Israeli citizens and residents, who have stayed in Macau, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong for the past two weeks.
Read also: Coronavirus: the infernal camera behind closed doors on the Diamond Princess