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Abandon the ship ! – things to know

Israelis who had been stuck on quarantined ship return to Israel for another quarantine; Ynet notes that the plane refueled in Tbilisi so that it would not have to in Israel, thus making sure the crew could take off as soon as possible after dropping off the Israelis and not set a single virus-y foot on Israeli soil.

Besides Israel, Australia and the US have both reported multiple cases of people who returned to their countries from the ship having the virus despite being cleared by Japan.

AFP notes that the cases “will fuel questions about Tokyo’s policy of allowing former Diamond Princess passengers to return home after testing negative.”

With the group back on dry Middle Eastern land, attention is turning to their stay at the hospital.

Kan reports that at Sheba the quarantined will not be together but each in their own cell.

The medical center conducted two drills Thursday, simulating the transport of the 11 people from the airport.

Yoni Levi, whose mother and sisters were among those who were on the ship and returned Friday, said the families were given a tour of the facility and an explanation of the expected treatment.

“We have brought them items from home and put them in their rooms and will see them in two weeks. Until then we will be talking to them via Skype,” he said.

Beyond that, the quarantined area is apart from the rest of the hospital, with its own water, sewage and ventilation systems, and even its own medical staff, Haaretz reports.

According to Ynet, after entering, the group’s only communication with other humans will be via a computer linkup to the hospital’s operations room, and officials are already using video conferencing to try and cheer the patients.

“I know it was not simple, that you can’t see your families or move around,” Dr. Galia Barkai is quoted saying to them on Ynet. “We understand the situation, and we’ll try to make your time here pleasant.”

As for the four Israelis that remained behind, they appear to be in good condition.

Kan reports that all four Israelis are expected to be released early next week, which seems to indicate that they are not even being made to wait the full 14 days in isolation. According to the outlet, the Israelis just need to get back good blood tests for the go-ahead.

“From our impression, it seems that they have been sick for a while and already passed the stage where there is a fear of complications,” Health Ministry official Itamar Grotto tells Kan.

Header: Sheba Medical Center staff prepare for the quarantine patients to arrive (Photo: Avi Moalem)