Israel is a small country that came into existence on 14th May 1948 and it got its independence from Palestine. As of this moment in 2020, there are around 10 million people living across the country and almost 75% population is Jewish. Last year in Mid December, when COVID 19 virus outbreak occurred in Wuhan, Chinese authorities immediately started their research on this new type of virus and soon they identified it and named it coronavirus. They notified WHO and leading nations around the world about the possible spread of this virus to multiple countries. At first, most of the nations didn’t take the news serious but as soon cases started to emerge outside of China, countries became strict and started taking precautions. Israel on the other hand, had strict precautions from the beginning. Before seeing the very first COVID 19 infected person on 21st February, Israeli government cancelled flights to and from China on 31st January and this ban extended to other countries that started reporting COVID 19 patients. It’s safe to say that Israeli government wasn’t appreciated enough to contain this virus because among 10 million citizens, there are only 15,000 infected patients and death toll is not above 600.
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- Late January 2020: After the virus was diagnosed and identified by the Chinese health department, a global warning was issued to notify every country about the possibility of this virus reaching their premises. On 26th Jan, Israeli government requested its citizens not to travel to China. 4 days later, the government cancelled all flights to and from China until further notice.
- Mid February 2020: On 17th Feb, Israeli government cancelled all flights to and from Thailand, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong. On 22nd Feb, a flight from S Korea landed in Israel but the government only allowed entry to the Israeli citizens and other passengers were returned to S Korea.
- 21st February 2020: This is the date when Israel declared its first COVID 19 patient. This patient was a female who went to Japan on Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that got famous because of COVID 19 outbreak on board while it was sailing in the ocean. 2 days later, another patient was confirmed to have COVID 19 and this patient was also on board of Diamond Princess. Later that week, a man who came from Italy was tested positive for COVID 19 and then the next day, his wife was also tested positive.
- 26th Feb 2020: On this date, Israeli government cancelled all international flights until further notice.
- Early March 2020: A female was diagnosed with COVID 19 on 1st March and she said that she previously worked in a toy store which was also managed by the man who was diagnosed with COVID 19 on 27th Then there were 3 more cases later that week. On 14th March, prime minister ordered shut down of all schools, colleges, offices, businesses in the entire country and only restaurants who offered takeaway food and pharmacies were allowed to stay open.
- Mid March 2020: Israeli Prime Minister requested the Israeli citizens to isolate themselves for at least 14 days in order to stop spread of COVID 19 virus and later he officially ordered that anyone who enters Israel, has to stay in quarantine for 14 days and before entering, they need to submit proof that they have hotel booking or accommodation for quarantine duration.
- Late March 2020: Israeli government passed a temporary bill to monitor smart phones of common citizens in order to track the people they met before they were diagnosed with COVID 19. This led the authorities to track more than 500 citizens who were notified to go in quarantine and despite the anger of citizens against the bill; those 500 people were later diagnosed with COVID 19.
- Early April 2020: In the first week of April, there were more than 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID 19 in different parts of the country and despite the lockdown and isolation requests, everyday, hundreds and even thousands of new patients were diagnosed and more than 60 patients died because of the virus attack before 10th During this time, unemployment rate crossed 25% and more than 800,000 people requested government for unemployment benefits.
- 29th April 2020: As of today’s date, there are more than 15,700 confirmed patients of COVID 19 and among these; around 200 people lost their lives to this disease. Overall, more than 7,700 patients have already recovered while approx 1,000 patients are still critical and under intensive care.