Israeli Who Returned From Japan Tests Positive For Coronavirus


One of the 11 Israelis who were flown home after being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan tested positive for the coronavirus, the first case to be reported inside Israel, officials said Friday.

Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the infectious disease unit at Sheba Hospital, where the 11 Israelis are quarantined, said the Israelis were tested again upon arrival although they had all tested negative before leaving Japan. She said a woman tested positive as a carrier of the virus but is “totally healthy” and is not exhibiting any symptoms.

“She was in a lot of stress,” Regev-Yochay said. “Obviously the whole situation is not easy.”

Another four Israelis were hospitalized in Japan after testing positive for the virus. Regev-Yochay said they are not showing any symptoms.

The new coronavirus, which causes the illness recently named COVID-19, has infected more than 76,000 people in 27 countries and caused more than 2,200 deaths since it was first reported in China’s Hubei province in December.

The Diamond Princess ship docked at a Yokohama port has the most cases of the new virus outside of China, with 634 confirmed by late Thursday. Two former passengers have died.

Dozens of foreign passengers were flown back to their home countries on flights chartered by their governments.