The Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak: The Israeli Experience
Keywords:COVID-19, Coronavirus, World Health Organization, worldwide spread, infection, disease
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV) and Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV). The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) refers to the cluster of viral pneumonia cases which first started occurring in Wuhan city, which has a population of 11 million people and is the largest city in Hubei province in central China, since December 2019. On Tuesday, the 11th of February 2020, the WHO officially named the disease caused by the new coronavirus "COVID-19", with more than 43,000 patients, and more than 1,000 deaths cases were reported in China. The Government of Israel, the Prime Minister's Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defense and the Treasury, have decided to take early first steps to prevent the spread of the virus in the Country. The first step was banning Chinese tourists from entering the country via Ben-Gurion International Airport, and this was only the beginning, as afterwards the decision was made to close all border crossings. The idea was to reduce the number of entrances to the State of Israel as much as possible, and every citizen coming back from countries such as China and European countries was directly sent to home quarantine for a period of 14 days.
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