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Israel adds travelers from five European countries to coronavirus quarantine list

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman give a joint press conference regarding preparations and new regulations for the coronavirus, in Jerusalem on March 4, 2020.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman give a joint press conference regarding preparations and new regulations for the coronavirus, in Jerusalem on March 4, 2020. © Gali Tibbon, AFP

Israel on Wednesday ordered a two-week quarantine on people arriving from France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Switzerland over coronavirus fears, after imposing similar measures on Italy and several Asian states.

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“We are at the peak of a global epidemic,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during his announcement of the latest travel bans.

“We are in a better situation than other countries because... we have taken strict, very strict measures, to slow the spread of the virus,” he added.

Israel currently has 15 confirmed cases of the virus but no deaths, with some 7,000 others already in home-quarantine.

The Jewish state previously issued quarantine instructions for all arrivals from mainland China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Macau, South Korea, Japan and Italy.

In elections on Monday, thousands of people under quarantine voted at special polling stations staffed by officials in full protective gear.

The health ministry on Wednesday ordered a ban on public gatherings of more than 5,000 people.

(AFP)

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