Analysis: Proper precautions may mitigate the danger and limit the numbers of potential victims, unfortunately they could be any one of us

Health workers on hand to receive Israelis back from the infected Diamond Princess cruise
Health workers on hand to receive Israelis back from the infected Diamond Princess cruise

The events of the weekend are a clear illustration: The coronavirus is here.

With the virus testing positive in one of the people released from the Diamond Princess, and after a group of South Korean pilgrims who had just returned from a visit to the holy land were also confirmed ill, there is no longer any doubt our worst fears have been realized.

The first case was no surprise. The infected woman had left her husband in Japan after he was confirmed to have been exposed to the virus, just one day before the entire group of Israelis was to return home. The odds were that his wife would also be exposed having lived with him in the closed quarters of the quarantined cruise ship.

Surprisingly, Israeli health officials did not stop to check the woman before their rash decision to transport the Israelis home at any cost. The responsibility, therefore, lies with the Health Ministry, which was seen to be taking some of the strictest measures in the world to stop the virus from entering the country.

מטוס הקורונה הישראלי ביפן
Israelis that were taken off the Diamond Princess on their way to Israel (Photo: Courtesy Israel Embassy in Japan)


The ministry’s inexplicable and perhaps irresponsible move, which put the safety of the entire country at risk, also endangered medical personnel assigned to escort the tourists back, the plane crew, the ambulance drivers and those in the group who succeeded in evading the virus until they were safely on board the Learjet, where they removed their facial masks so that they could eat, drink and sing patriotic songs on their way home.

The South Korean pilgrims who traveled the country and perhaps infected many, is due to nothing but bad luck. Though there is no indication that people were infected, the group’s story is an indication that the danger is already in our midst.

משלחת ה צליינים מ דרום קוריאה לפני הטיסה לישראל קורונה
South Korean pilgrims who may have spread the coronavirus on their way to Israel


The growing number of people who have fallen ill with the virus outside of China – including in the Middle East – and the fact that in some cases symptoms appeared weeks after any contact with carriers occurred, and not just 14 days as previously thought, shows authorities have already lost control of the disease. Still, the spread of the virus may have been slowed by the unusual measures taken.

The onus is now on all of us, in the face of humanity’s apparent disadvantage in the face of this outbreak, to act responsibly.

If till now we mocked the health authorities and their directives, we must now heed their recommendations and instructions.

Those of us who must be quarantined have to separate ourselves from family members so as not to contribute to the spread of the disease.

Even if the World Health Organization announces the efforts are too late, and a pandemic is upon us, proper precaution may mitigate the danger and limit the numbers of potential victims, unfortunately, they could be any one of us.

As reported by Ynetnews