N12 reported that as many as 70% of coronavirus carriers in Israel were infected by tourists or Israelis arriving on flights from NY.
According to a study by the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Tel-Aviv, the vast majority of those infected by the “novel coronavirus” in Israel picked up the disease from visitors from the US or Israelis returning home on flights from NY City.
Approximately 30% were infected by tourists from Europe with 8% of them by visitors from Belgium.
China, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan were listed as countries with a high number of virus carriers that had not made an impact on Israel.
According to the study, the main reason for the discrepancy was the fact that Israel closed its gates to countries in the far East and Europe much earlier than it did so to flights from the US.
The study also concluded that just 5% of virus carriers who arrived in Israel were responsible for spreading up to 80% of the infections. These “Mega Infectors” were individuals who failed to conform to government guidelines, instead opting to travel around the country infecting countless others.
The many flights entering Israel from New York have a significant connection to the spread of the virus in Israel. Researchers have two explanations: First, the duty of isolation on returning from the United States was delayed 39 days after being banned from flights from China. In addition, the behavior of those who returned from the United States to Israel contributed to the spread of the virus. The study found that some returnees did not fully comply with isolation guidelines.
Dr. Adi Stern, who conducted the research at Tel Aviv University, told N12 that the findings emphasize the need for border closure and “social distancing” to control the plague in Israel.
“If we talk about what’s next – it’s very important to close borders as soon as virus entry is detected from outside. And the other thing, it really is the efficiency and effectiveness of the closure, which actually did its thing.”