From the Toy Store to the Soccer Game, How Coronavirus Spread in Israel
A shop owner who returned from Italy and went to work for three days has been connected to infections that have already shut down a school and sent 77 soccer spectators into quarantine
CTech | 16:49 04.03.2020
The number of Israelis identified as being infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has risen to 15, with three new cases announced Wednesday by the Israeli Ministry of Health. Of those infected, 10 were either aboard the virus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship or recently returned from Italy. The remaining five were infected within Israel. Two of the 15 have already recovered, but the potential for new cases is already increasing as the going ons of the newly infected are traced. Two of the new cases can be connected to one of the first confirmed cases among Israelis who returned from Italy, a man from central Israel-based community settlement Irus who owns a toy shop called the Red Pirate in central town Or Yehuda. The shop owner returned from Italy on February 23, and spent three days at his shop interacting with customers and employees, before all those returning from Italy were ordered into self-quarantine on February 27th. All those who frequented the shop—unusually busy as people prepared for Purim, a Jewish holiday traditionally enjoyed in costume—on those three days were ordered into quarantine as well. Among the infected are his wife, two employees, and a deputy school principal who spent 15 minutes at the shop. cut down as a result and Israel’s national carrier El Al started letting people go due to losses. On Wednesday, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, recommended people avoid kissing mezuzahs as long as coronavirus is rampant. On Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and health minister Yaakov Litzman convened a joint press conference and extended the restrictions to France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and Austria. Litzman also announced restrictions on gatherings of over 5,000 people.