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Israel bars entry to foreigners over coronavirus

Image of Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel [lleewu/Flickr]
Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, 30 March 2017 [lleewu/Flickr]

The Israeli Population and Immigration Authority yesterday announced a complete ban on the entry of foreigners over coronavirus spread.

On Friday, Israel decided to close its borders with Syria and Lebanon amid rising fears of a coronavirus outbreak. The government later banned land and sea entry to all international foreigners into the Israeli territory. Since then, a total of 150 foreign citizens were permanently denied entry through the country's Ben Gurion, Ramon and Taba Crossings.

In a similar context, Israel's Channel 7 reported that 23,922 foreigners had left Israel voluntarily, while another 17,494 foreigners entered the country.

Read: Death toll in Iran from coronavirus reaches 194

The Israeli health ministry recently confirmed a total of 20 cases of COVID-19 in the country. The national airline company, "El Al," has decided to reduce some international flights, including the ones to Germany's capital of Berlin, the US' San Francisco, Spain's Barcelona, and Switzerland's Zurich.

The new coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, last December and has now spread to more than 80 countries. The global death toll is nearing 3,300, with more than 97,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Notably, some 52,000 patients who contracted the virus recovered.

The WHO, which had declared the outbreak an international health emergency, recently updated the global risk level to "very high."

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