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From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/4/20 1:31 AM 
To: All  (15 of 3722) 
 10301.15 in reply to 10301.14 

February 4, 2020

             "However, the organization said that if the virus were to mutate and become easily transmissible to humans, there could be a major health concern."

https://www.wnd.com/2020/02/china-gut-punched-2nd-deadly-disease-breaks/

China gut-punched as 2nd deadly disease breaks out

The Chinese province adjacent to the one where the coronavirus first appeared is facing an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu, according to news reports.

What officials said was a highly pathogenic strain was reported in Hunan province, just south of Hunei province where the coronavirus-plagued city of Wuhan is located, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced Saturday, according to Reuters.

The government reported that the outbreak took place on a farm that had 7,850 chickens, 4,500 of which died due to the disease. More than 17,000 poultry were later killed to avoid the spread of the disease, the government reported. The World Health Organization said the bird flu causes severe respiratory disease in birds and is contagious to humans.

"Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person. When people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60 percent," WHO reported on its website.

Despite the high mortality rate, WHO cautioned against panic.

"Almost all cases of H5N1 infection in people have been associated with close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments. The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual. There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and thoroughly cooked food," the WHO said.

However, the organization said that if the virus were to mutate and become easily transmissible to humans, there could be a major health concern.

"H5N1 infection in humans can cause severe disease and has a high mortality rate. If the H5N1 virus were to change and become easily transmissible from person to person while retaining its capacity to cause severe disease, the consequences for public health could be very serious," it said.

This is not the first report of bird flu in China. Last June, an outbreak of H5N6 flu was reported in western China, according to Reuters, while in January another outbreak of H5N6 was reported there, according to another Reuters report.

The bird flu outbreak comes as a gut-punch to a China already reeling from a coronavirus outbreak. As of Saturday, 259 Chinese had died from the virus and about 12,000 infections had been confirmed, according to The New York Times.

The spread of the virus has been linked to Chinese unwillingness to announce in December that the initial cases reported in Wuhan posed a serious threat to public health.

“This was an issue of inaction,” Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, said, according to The New York Times. “

Initial Chinese statements, instead, suggested the virus was under control

“Projecting optimism and confidence, if you don’t have the data, is a very dangerous strategy,” Alexandra Phelan, a faculty research instructor in microbiology and immunology at Georgetown University, told The Times.

“It undermines the legitimacy of the government in messaging. And public health is dependent on public trust," she said.

  • Edited February 5, 2020 8:46 am  by  WEBELIAHU
 
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From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/5/20 8:46 AM 
To: All  (16 of 3722) 
 10301.16 in reply to 10301.15 

February 5, 2020

         "Coronavirus outbreak resembles SARS, but virus experts say science moves far faster now."

         So does the Coronavirus. With SARS one became infectious upon the appearance of symptoms. Not the Coronavirum, which can become infectious two weeks before there are any symptoms. Even though the death rate from the Coronavirus is less than SARS, it is potentially far more dangerous. It is far more difficult to cage a poisonous snake in the dark, than it is in the light. It is also an indication, to me, that whereas the Coronavirus may be passing through bats and other creatures, it did not start with them, that is may be a biological warfare experiment that got away from the Chinese.

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/275391

Pressured world: How should we deal with the new virus from China?

To stop the novel coronavirus, scientists look to lessons from SARS outbreak.

In China, citizens wear masks while riding a subway, to protect from a new coronavirus

Deaths from the 2019 novel coronavirus have surpassed 210 in China. We’ll look back at lessons learned during the 2003 SARS outbreak and explore how to stop a pandemic today.

Listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Samira Mubareka, infectious disease physician and microbiologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada; and Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, epidemiologist and global health security policy scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Coronavirus outbreak resembles SARS, but virus experts say science moves far faster now.

Dr. Paul Sax remembers SARS all too well, and the similarities with the new coronavirus that has now killed more than 210 people are obvious: Both are coronaviruses first diagnosed in China. Both seem to have originated in bats. Both cause severe lung infections and worldwide alarm.

But Sax, Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital, says this outbreak also strikes him as very different. "What's different is the pace of scientific discovery," he says. "It's like someone pressed the fast-forward button, and we're accelerating through things that took much, much longer then."

 

 
From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/5/20 8:56 AM 
To: All  (17 of 3722) 
 10301.17 in reply to 10301.16 

February 5, 2020

         “Yes Auntie, this drone is speaking to you. You shouldn’t walk about without wearing a mask. You’d better go home, and don’t forget to wash your hands,”

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2020/02/04/number-coronavirus-cases-passes-20000-427-fatalities-reported/

Number of Coronavirus Cases Passes 20,000 with 427 Fatalities Reported

Pedestrians wear facemasks as they prepare to cross a road in Hong Kong on February 4, 2020, as a preventative measure following a virus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. - Hong Kong on February 4 became the second place outside mainland China to report the death …  

Chinese officials announced the total number of people infected by the Wuhan coronavirus now exceeds 20,000, with 427 fatalities reported worldwide. Officials reported 64 new deaths in China on Tuesday, making it the deadliest day of the epidemic so far.

The health commission of Hubei, the province at the center of the outbreak, reported 2,345 new infections on Monday, with 1,242 of them in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus was first reported.

The overall mortality rate for the virus was calculated at 2.1 percent, assuming the data coming from the Chinese government is accurate. However, the mortality rate in Hubei province is much higher at 3.1 percent, and it reached 4.9 percent in Wuhan itself. Most of the people killed by the virus were described as over 60 years of age and usually suffered from another health issue when they contracted the coronavirus.

The mortality rate from the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic remains much higher, but the Wuhan virus is much more contagious.

Doctors in Wuhan are scrambling to convert civilian structures into treatment centers, including a sports stadium converted into a temporary hospital with 3,400 beds. A new panic-built hospital with 1,000 beds was constructed in only ten days, with another panic-built 1,600-bed hospital due to open on Wednesday.

The Chinese government is resorting to some unusual measures to control the virus outbreak, including a swarm of drones deployed to monitor citizens who do not follow quarantine rules or observe proper safety measures. The drones are equipped with loudspeakers that can be used to chastise members of the public, which elderly residents of the outbreak zone apparently find weird and confusing.

“Yes Auntie, this drone is speaking to you. You shouldn’t walk about without wearing a mask. You’d better go home, and don’t forget to wash your hands,” a drone told one perplexed older woman in an encounter publicized by Chinese state media. The old woman did as the drone instructed her.

CNN on Tuesday told the story of Dr. Li Wenliang, a Wuhan ophthalmologist punished by the government for accurately warning friends and family in late December that the coronavirus was much more dangerous than authorities were willing to admit. Li was questioned by the police on charges of “rumor-mongering” and forced to sign a statement admitting to “unlawful acts.” He contracted the virus in January after treating an infected patient, at a time when the Chinese government was still insisting the virus could not be spread by human contact, and has been hospitalized ever since.

Efforts to control the Wuhan virus by restricting travel from China are gaining momentum, even as the World Health Organization struggles in vain to convince airline and tourism companies that travel bans are unnecessary.

Hong Kong protesters renewed their demands for a closed border after the first reported coronavirus fatality and first cases of indigenous transmission on their island. Macau on Tuesday ordered its fabled casinos to close for two weeks. Japan is keeping 3,700 passengers quarantined aboard a cruise ship while they are tested for the virus. Taiwan announced that beginning on Friday, foreigners who have visited mainland China in the past 14 days will be denied entry, with an exception for those living in Hong Kong or Macau.

Even Mexico is taking steps to prevent the spread of the Wuhan virus despite having no confirmed cases to date. Over the weekend, the Uber ride-sharing service suspended 240 user accounts in Mexico City to prevent the spread of the virus after learning a potentially infected individual used Uber after arriving from Los Angeles last month.

 

 
From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/6/20 8:30 AM 
To: All  (18 of 3722) 
 10301.18 in reply to 10301.17 

February 6, 2020

        "Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Wuhan coronavirus is a biological weapon that was either accidentally or intentionally released from research facilities in Hubei province, China. While these reports are unconfirmed, they shed light on the panic gripping the internet as the new disease continues to mutate into more deadly and virulent forms."

         Nations generally do not like biological warfare. Do you know why? Because every country knows that a biological agent might escape into their own country, and even if it does not escape, once released, it can easily find its way back to the host country once again.      

https://www.ccn.com/israeli-analyst-one-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory-less-crazy-than-you-think/

Israeli Analyst Says One Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory Is Less Crazy Than You Think

Unconfirmed reports suggest the Wuhan Coronavirus may be a bioweapon developed at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

  • Internet sources speculate that the Wuhan coronavirus could be linked to the covert Chinese bioweapons program.
  • While the reports are unconfirmed, they are troubling.
  • Regardless of its origin, the Wuhan coronavirus is spreading around the world with confirmed cases in Asia, Europe and North America.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Wuhan coronavirus is a biological weapon that was either accidentally or intentionally released from research facilities in Hubei province, China. While these reports are unconfirmed, they shed light on the panic gripping the internet as the new disease continues to mutate into more deadly and virulent forms.

The Pandemic of Our Time?

The date is January 27, 2020, and over 3,000 people have become sick with a new and mysterious illness. So far, over 80 have died and up to 100,000 may be infected in the worst-case scenario. All across social media, videos emerge purporting to show overcrowded hospitals as well as people collapsing in the streets.

In response to the threat, the Chinese government has launched the most aggressive containment effort in history. Thirteen cities have been placed under quarantine affecting a population of 35 million. It sounds like science fiction, but that is the reality of the current Wuhan coronavirus – the first major outbreak of the nascent 2020 decade.

If unconfirmed reports are to be believed, the truth could be even more bizarre.

Is Coronavirus a Biological Weapon?

The Wuhan Coronavirus is believed to have originated in a wet market located in Wuhan, Hubei province. Scientists are confident that the virus originated in Wuhan because the city is the epicenter of the outbreak and has the largest number of cases. There is some controversy about how, exactly, the outbreak started.

This is were things get weird.

Wuhan is home to several major Chinese biological research labs. In particular, the city is known for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s most advanced biological research lab. The Washington Times suggests that this site may be linked to a covert Chinese biological warfare program. The outlet features Danny Shoham, who claims to be a former Israeli military intelligence officer.

Shoham believes the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be helping the Chinese military with its biological warfare program. He states the following:

Certain laboratories in the institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese (biological weapons), at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese biowarfare alignment.

Shoham stops short of claiming the coronavirus leaked from the institute. Although he admits it’s possible:

In principle, outward virus infiltration might take place either as leakage or as an indoor unnoticed infection of a person that normally went out of the concerned facility. This could have been the case with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. But so far there isn’t evidence or indication for such an incident.

China Must Stop the Coronavirus, Regardless of its Origin

The Coronavirus is an accelerating public health issue that is putting the world on alert. While the Chinese government appears to be doing everything in its power to slow the spread of the deadly disease, many still question its credibility, and refuse to believe the official line of events.

Did the coronavirus emerged from a Wuhan fish market? Or did it leak from a biological warfare institute? None of that matters at this point. The virus is here, and its killing people.

 

 
From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/6/20 8:42 AM 
To: All  (19 of 3722) 
 10301.19 in reply to 10301.18 

February 6, 2020

       "It is reminiscent of World War II, the Holocaust, the dark days of human history. Millions of Jews were murdered and many were banned from entering countries. Few countries opened their doors, one of which was China,"

        The Holocaust Jews were not a danger for bringing a deadly pandemic to any population they entered.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/275459

China apologizes for comparing border closure to Holocaust

Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv invokes Holocaust in criticizing Israel's decision to prevent entry to passengers from China, later apologizes.

The Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv on Sunday criticized Israel's decision to prevent entry to those coming from China in order to prevent the coronavirus from entering Israel.

"It is reminiscent of World War II, the Holocaust, the dark days of human history. Millions of Jews were murdered and many were banned from entering countries. Few countries opened their doors, one of which was China," the Embassy said.

China's deputy ambassador to Israel, Dai Yuming, later apologized for the comparison and said, "There was no intention of comparing the dark days of the Holocaust to the current situation and to the efforts by the Israeli government to protect its citizens. We want to apologize, but someone misunderstood the message.”

Earlier on Sunday, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport to take a closer look at the national preparedness to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to Israel.

"We have come to personally examine whether the decisions made in the discussion with the Prime Minister are being implemented," said Health Minister Litzman. "We will not allow harm to public health. We pray that the virus will not arrive, let's hope the prayers will help."

Interior Minister Deri said, "We are not taking risks when it comes to human life. There is no need to go into hysteria, but it is a small world and the virus is spreading fast. We returned 35 passengers yesterday and we will continue to do so, with all the unpleasantness. All the border crossings have the same guidelines. We’re unwilling to take a risk, it is better that we do unnecessary things."

 

 
From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/6/20 9:09 AM 
To: All  (20 of 3722) 
 10301.20 in reply to 10301.19 

February 6, 2020

         "the number of cases in China jumped by nearly 4,000 on Tuesday alone to more than 24,300, with another 65 deaths bringing the total to 490."

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51381594

Coronavirus: Ten passengers on cruise ship test positive for virus

At least 10 people on board a cruise ship docked in the Japanese port of Yokohama have tested positive for coronavirus, health authorities say. Almost 300 of the 3,700 people on the Diamond Princess have been tested so far. The number of infected could rise.

The checks began after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man who had been on the ship last month fell ill with the virus. Some 3,600 people on a second cruise ship docked in Hong Kong are also being tested.

Chinese health authorities are stepping up efforts to control the spread of the virus, with approximately 18 million people in the east of the country now required to stay at home.

In Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, 11 large public venues including sports arenas are being turned into makeshift hospitals to provide an additional 10,000 beds for the sick. Two new hospitals have already been built there since the outbreak started.

President Xi Jinping said China's preventive measures were "achieving a positive effect", state media reported. He said China was confident and capable of winning the war against the virus, after authorities were criticised for their initial handling of the outbreak.

The WHO has declared a global health emergency over the outbreak but said it did not yet constitute a "pandemic", or the worldwide spread of a new disease.

However, the number of cases in China jumped by nearly 4,000 on Tuesday alone to more than 24,300, with another 65 deaths bringing the total to 490. The new coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms usually start with a fever, followed by a dry cough. Most people infected are likely to fully recover - just as they would from a flu.

What happens to the passengers now?

Passengers and crew on the ship will now be under quarantine for 14 days. The incubation period of the virus is believed to be around two weeks.

All 10 cases are in those over the age of 50 and one is in their 80s, Japanese broadcaster NHK said.

Two of them are said to be Japanese, and none are in "serious condition", it added.

"We had them [the ones who tested positive] get off the vessel and... we are sending them to medical organisations," Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said at a news conference on Wednesday.

 

 
From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/6/20 9:10 AM 
To: All  (21 of 3722) 
 10301.21 in reply to 10301.20 

February 6, 2020

        “On late Saturday evening (Feb. 1), Tencent, on its webpage titled ‘Epidemic Situation Tracker,’ showed confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) in China as standing at 154,023, 10 times the official figure at the time. It listed the number of suspected cases as 79,808, four times the official figure...Netizens noticed that Tencent has on at least three occasions posted extremely high numbers, only to quickly lower them to government-approved statistics.”

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/02/epidemic-tracker-in-china-may-have-accidentally-leaked-real-data-on-wuhan-virus-deaths-and-theyre-bad/

Epidemic Tracker In China May Have Accidentally Leaked Real Data On Wuhan Virus Deaths — And They’re Bad

Tencent, a multinational conglomerate holding company in China, may have accidentally leaked the real data on the Wuhan virus.

The real spread and death toll of the coronavirus is unknown, as China controls all information on the deadly pneumonia-like virus. But some interesting numbers recently appeared that might give a real clue to its spread.

“On late Saturday evening (Feb. 1), Tencent, on its webpage titled ‘Epidemic Situation Tracker,’ showed confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) in China as standing at 154,023, 10 times the official figure at the time. It listed the number of suspected cases as 79,808, four times the official figure,” Taiwan News reported.

But that report didn’t last long.

“Moments later, Tencent updated the numbers to reflect the government’s ‘official’ numbers that day. Netizens noticed that Tencent has on at least three occasions posted extremely high numbers, only to quickly lower them to government-approved statistics,” the news site reported.

Theories quickly emerged about the differing numbers. Some speculated that Tencent has two sets of data, the “real data” and “processed” data., and that some sort of coding problem caused the  “real” data to accidentally appear on its webpage.

Others speculate that the numbers are even worse than Tencent said, noting that as the virus sweeps across rural parts of China, many coronavirus patients die outside of hospitals and are thus not counted.

A U.S. site connected to Johns Hopkins put the numbers far lower, with 24,631 infected, 494 dead and 1,029 “recovered.”

 

 
From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/6/20 9:20 AM 
To: All  (22 of 3722) 
 10301.22 in reply to 10301.20 

Image result for corona

 

 
From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/7/20 8:53 AM 
To: All  (23 of 3722) 
 10301.23 in reply to 10301.22 

February 7, 2020

      "The WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, again said travel bans were unnecessary..."The chance of getting this (virus) going to anywhere outside China is very low, and even in China when you go to other provinces, it's very low," he added."

       The purpose of travel bans are to make sure the chances of contracting this virus REMAIN very low...especially when we know so little about how this virus can spread, and with a pandemic remaining a possibility. 

https://www.jpost.com/International/China-to-allow-in-US-health-experts-as-virus-shows-no-sign-of-slowing-616419

China to allow in U.S. health experts as virus shows no sign of slowing

The White House said on Monday China had accepted its offer to have U.S. experts as part of a WHO mission to study and help combat the virus that emerged in Hubei's provincial capital of Wuhan.

Members of a neighbourhood committee register locals and ask about therr travel history in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of novel coronavirus. February 2, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/THOMAS PETER)

China has agreed to allow U.S. health experts into the country as part of a World Health Organization (WHO) effort to help fight the fast-spreading coronavirus, as the number of cases and deaths continued to mount.

In central China's Hubei province, epicenter of the epidemic, China state TV reported there were 2,345 new cases of the virus and another 64 deaths, bringing the total of virus-related fatalities in Hubei to 414 by Monday.

The Chinese stock market plunged about 8% on Monday, wiping $393 billion off the value of the Shanghai bourse, on the first day of trading following an extended Lunar New Year holiday in a bid to help keep people at home and contain the virus' spread.

The White House said on Monday China had accepted its offer to have U.S. experts as part of a WHO mission to study and help combat the virus that emerged in Hubei's provincial capital of Wuhan. A 1,000-bed hospital built in eight days to treat people with the virus in Wuhan was due to receive its first patients on Monday, state media said. A second hospital with 1,600 beds is due to be operational later this week.

With Wuhan and some other Chinese cities in virtual lockdown, travel severely restricted and China facing increasing international isolation, fears of wider economic disruption are growing. Sources at the OPEC oil cartel told Reuters producers were considering cutting output by almost a third to support prices.

The WHO last week declared the flu-like virus a global emergency. It has spread to 23 other countries and regions. The Philippines reported the first coronavirus death outside of China. Airlines around the world have stopped flights to parts of China. A suspension by the United Arab Emirates on Monday will affect the Gulf airlines Etihad and Emirates.

Earlier on Monday, China accused the United States of spreading fear by pulling its citizens out and severely restricting travel.

Washington has "unceasingly manufactured and spread panic," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters, noting that the WHO had advised against trade and travel curbs.

"It is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations," she said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defended the measures taken by the United States, including suspending the entry of foreign nationals who had visited China within the past 14 days.

"We made an aggressive decision in front of an unprecedented threat that action now had the biggest potential to slow this thing down. That's what the theory is here," said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, as she noted that there are already some 17,000 cases of a virus for which the population does not have immunity.

'NO REASON' FOR TRAVEL CURBS

The WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, again said travel bans were unnecessary.

"There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade," he told the WHO's executive board in Geneva.

"The chance of getting this (virus) going to anywhere outside China is very low, and even in China when you go to other provinces, it's very low," he added.

The outbreak is reminiscent of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a virus from the same family that emerged in China in 2002 and killed almost 800 people around the world out of the roughly 8,000 who were infected.

 

 
From: WEBELIAHU DelphiPlus Member Icon2/7/20 8:53 AM 
To: All  (24 of 3722) 
 10301.24 in reply to 10301.23 

February 7, 2020

         "Our goal is first to delay the arrival of the virus to Israel – I say 'delay' because it is inevitable that it will arrive here – and then to treat, to identify those infected, to isolate them and treat them."

https://m.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Netanyahu-No-room-for-bureaucracy-when-it-comes-to-treating-coronavirus-616229

Netanyahu approves plan for coronavirus vaccine research base

"Nothing should be spared, and there is no room for bureaucracy when it comes to treating the virus," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed health authorities to work toward a vaccination against the novel coronavirus and approved plans to establish a vaccine factory in the country on Sunday, amid the continued spread of the illness across the globe.

Plans to build a local vaccine production facility were presented by Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman at an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the threat posed by the virus, together with ministers and representatives from the Health, Finance, Foreign and Justice Ministries.

"Our preparations [for the virus] will include all branches of the Israeli government," said Netanyahu following the meeting. "Our goal is first to delay the arrival of the virus to Israel – I say 'delay' because it is inevitable that it will arrive here – and then to treat, to identify those infected, to isolate them and treat them."

Netanyahu paid tribute to the Chinese authorities for their efforts to contain the virus, and added that Israel was working with the Palestinian Authority to ensure the implementation of necessary health measures.

"I am making it clear that the State of Israel is currently ahead of the world in many things, even in addressing this issue and we intend to lead in another aspect. I have instructed the Israel Institute for Biological Research and the Ministry of Health to act to create a vaccine for the virus as well as establish a vaccine factory," Netanyahu said. "It is possible that even on this issue, if we work fast enough, with an appropriate budget and the talented people that we have, that Israel will be ahead of the world here too."

The death toll from the coronavirus has now exceeded 300, with over 14,000 confirmed infections worldwide. The first death outside of China was reported on Sunday, when a 44-year-old Chinese resident of Wuhan – the origin and epicenter of the virus – traveling in the Philippines died after developing "severe pneumonia."

Dozens of Israelis arrived on Sunday morning on the last two flights into the country from China before a ban on flights. Those passengers included employees of the Israeli Embassy in China, who swore to stay in isolation for two weeks after landing. At noon, new rules came into force prohibiting foreign nationals who had been to China in the past two weeks from entering Israel.

Following the World Health Organization's declaration of a global health emergency, Israel's Foreign Ministry released a statement recommending that citizens "refrain from flying to China." They also recommended that anyone currently in China leave and return to Israel via a third country due to the cessation of direct flights.

Litzman and Interior Minister Arye Deri toured Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday afternoon to evaluate measures implemented by the Population and Immigration Authority to prevent the entry of foreign nationals who have recently spent time in China.

"We will not permit anything that will result in harm to public health," said Litzman at the airport. "We are almost certain that the virus will unfortunately arrive in Israel, and we are prepared to do everything that is necessary to take care of it."

Deri said that there was no need for hysteria but that Israel would not be taking "any risks where it concerns human lives" and there was no room for discretion in measures decided by the health authorities. A total of 35 Chinese citizens who arrived on a flight from Moscow on Saturday were refused entry, he said.

Across Israel, several individuals who returned to the country from China in recent days were admitted for tests amid suspicion that they may have contracted the virus. A woman in her fifties from the Golan Heights was sent to the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriya on Sunday after having returned from a business trip to China 10 days prior. She was subsequently instructed to remain in isolation at home and is awaiting test results.

"Our measures are very responsible and are in strict accordance with the new recommendations of the Health Ministry in Israel," said Chen. "The panic is more harmful than the virus itself and can cause greater damage. We appreciate the help from the Israeli government, and we hope this will continue."

The Manufacturers Association of Israel announced that it would open a situation room on Sunday evening to assist Israeli businesses who have not received supplies or payments from Chinese customers.

"The coronavirus that is currently paralyzing the Chinese economy proves that the State of Israel must not lose its manufacturing and economic independence," said president Dr. Ron Tomer, who was appointed to head the association on Thursday.

 

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