Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman on Monday signed a public health ordinance that adds the coronavirus to the list of infectious diseases.
Signing the order means that when necessary, enforced hospitalization and quarantine of those suspected of having the virus will be possible.
Rabbi Litzman noted that this step was not declaring an emergency. “It is important for me to reassure the public that signing the order is not an emergency. It gives us the opportunity to take all the necessary steps when needed.”
Earlier this week, the Health Ministry issued a travel warning urging Israelis to cancel all nonessential travel to China following the outbreak of the fatal coronavirus.
“As part of the assessment of the coronavirus conducted at the Health Ministry, it was decided to recommend the public avoids all nonessential travel to China,” the ministry said in a statement.
“We recommend not to travel to Hubei Province at all and that the restrictions imposed by the Chinese government in the various cities should be monitored in real-time.”
The ministry said that if anyone who had traveled to mainland China in the past 14 days experiences the symptoms of the virus – fever and acute diarrhea – should contact their health care provider or get to the emergency room.