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‘We need to make sure Israelis with the coronavirus get the best possible treatment’

Hadassah Hospital’s chief infectious disease expert, Prof. Ron Nir-Paz, is travelling to Japan tomorrow to accompany an Israeli couple who contracted the coronavirus, according to a Health Ministry statement.

Prior to his departure, Nir-Paz said that he was going to Tokyo to help tend to the Israelis who tested positive for the coronavirus and were taken off a cruise ship.

He added that the goal of his visit was two-fold. “I want to ensure that the treatment they receive is the best that the Japanese can possibly give them. I also need to make sure that when they return to Israel there won’t be any danger to public health and to ensure that – as now – the country remains one of those free of coronavirus.”

Nir-Paz added that he has been in contact with Japanese health officials, experts in infectious diseases and lung specialists, who are currently treating patients, through the Japanese Embassy and also the Health Ministry, to ensure that an Israeli doctor can provide the best care that he is able.

Israel’s Health Minister, Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), was asked upon his arrival at a cabinet meeting Sunday morning whether Israelis should be concerned about the spread of coronavirus.

“We know of instances of the virus on the ship,” he replied. “We are sending a doctor from here to treat them and to also negotiate with the Japanese to return the rest home.”

Striking a pessimistic note, he stressed that the likelihood is that there will be cases of the coronavirus in Israel, but if it did, “all the preparations have been made,” he concluded.