Two Israelis Test Positive for Coronavirus on Cruise Ship Off Japan

Israel's Health Ministry said Sunday that two Israeli nationals who were on board a cruise ship that had been placed in a two-week quarantine tested positive for coronavirus.

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The two Israelis, a couple, have been transferred to a Japanese hospital in mild condition. Israel is expected to send an expert physician to accompany them.

The Diamond Princess, owned by Carnival Corp, has been quarantined since arriving in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo, on February 3, after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong before it travelled to Japan was diagnosed with the virus.

The ship, with some 3,700 passengers and crew on board, has seen 355 cases of corovirus, the most infections outside China.

Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said the other 13 Israelis still on the ship will be flown back to Israel, at the expense of their insurance companies. They will be quarantined upon their return and will not be posing a threat to the public, he added.  

Prof. Eyal Leshem from Sheba Medical Center told Haaretz it will not be possible for Israelis who tested positive for coronavirus to be flown back to Israel.