Israelis disembark coronavirus ship

All Israeli passengers alight except one Israeli infected with virus; Israeli embassy staff in Tokyo wait on platform.

Mordechai Sones ,

Representatives of Israeli Embassy in Japan
Representatives of Israeli Embassy in Japan
Israeli Embassy in Japan

All Israeli passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship not diagnosed among those infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus were allowed ashore, a joint foreign ministry statement said.

"The staff of the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo accompanied by Health Ministry officials are waiting for them on the platform," the statement said.

A fourth Israeli passenger from the ship was diagnosed with COVID-19, and will be taken to hospital for further treatment in Japan. The remaining eleven Israeli ship passengers are expected to take off this morning.

Meanwhile, the four Israelis infected will remain in Japan for the time being. The Health Ministry noted that Prof. Ron Nir-Paz, an infectious disease specialist from Hadassah Medical Center, will remain in Japan and continue to accompany Israelis infected with the virus and hospitalized in isolation at two military hospitals in Japan.

A spokesman for the families said, "In a conversation with the Israelis on the bus they wanted to announce that they were leaving with mixed feelings after the journey they passed while on the one hand they were released and on the other families were left for further testing in Japan. We thank everyone for the support and hope the rest of the Israelis will return home soon."

Of the 3,711 passengers and crew on board the ship anchored in Japan's Yokohama port, more than 620 people were infected.

Last night saw the first passenger deaths from the ship. Two Japanese citizens - an 87-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman who were on the ship - died in a state hospital after being hospitalized last week.