Patient Aboard El Al Flight From NY to Israel Tests Positive for Coronavirus

An El Al plane. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

A passenger on El Al flight LY014 arriving from New York at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday morning was diagnosed with coronavirus upon her arrival in Israel, Yisrael Hayom reported.

All the passengers who were on the plane are required to quarantine.

The flight, which was carrying new immigrants to Israel, was one of the few El Al operated in recent months. According to Yisrael Hayom, the flight was packed with passengers, some sitting next to each other the entire time.

The patient, who had previously been ill with coronavirus, had undergone a coronavirus test prior to boarding the plane, and received clearance to board the flight. One of the organizations responsible for the immigration process said the woman submitted a document testifying that she had antibodies.

Several hours after her arrival in Israel, the woman was notified that she still carries the virus.

It is not yet clear how the infection was overlooked or how she succeeded in boarding the flight prior to receiving her test results, since both Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Jewish Agency for Israel knew that the woman had previously contracted coronavirus.

Nefesh B’Nefesh told Yisrael Hayom: “Today an El Al flight arrived from New York, with 51 new immigrants from the U.S. As required by Health Ministry protocols, all of the immigrants on the flight were sent to quarantine for 14 days. During the evening hours, a passenger who arrived on the flight reported that when she arrived at her new home in Israel, she received an email from the U.S. lab which said that she had tested positive for coronavirus, and she immediately informed the organization.”

It was noted that the passenger did not have any symptoms.

“Prior to boarding the flight, the immigrant signed a health declaration as required, and in accordance with the Israeli authorities’ requirements, she also presented a document proving that she had antibodies. Throughout the entire flight, the new immigrant wore a face mask, and maintained proper hygiene.

“When the issue became known, information was immediately sent to the Health Ministry and other relevant bodies, who were provided with the details of the incident. At the same time, we emphasized to the other immigrants who were on the flight their obligation to remain in quarantine for 14 days.”


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