Covid Outbreak Among Chinese Workers in North

A view of a residential area in Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov Ihud, northern Israel. (Own work)

While Israel was carefully screening foreign tourists allowed entry starting Monday, an outbreak of Covid was reported among Chinese workers already staying in the north of the country.

The Health Ministry said that initially eight cases of the virus was detected among the workers, which prompted officials to test another 260 employees and others people who came into contact with them, according to Ynet on Tuesday.

The workers, employed at Emek HaMaayanot Regional Council, have been inoculated against coronavirus with the Chinese vaccine Sinovac. In all, about 500 workers are employed in the area.

The ministry will perform genomic sequencing – which allows scientists to identify SARS-CoV-2 and monitor how it changes over time – in an ongoing investigation of the outbreak. Officials said it may be necessary to set up an isolation hotel for the infected workers.

Kibbutz Ashdot Ya’akov Ihud, in which about 100 workers live, said in response: “The Chinese were instructed to stay solely in the compound and not to wander around the community. We ask the parents and the informal education leaders to instruct the children and youths not to pass through the Chinese residents’ complex.”