A plane carrying 11 Israelis who disembarked on Thursday from the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan landed at the Ben Gurion Airport shortly after 4:00 a.m. Friday morning.
Upon landing, the Israelis were greeted with a big smiles from Magen David Adom paramedics, who evacuated them on a MDA bus to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.
MDA paramedics were protected with a special suit, mask, hat, and special glasses, according to the protocol used in cases where there is a risk of infection.
One of the paramedics who greeted the travelers upon landing in Israel, is Itzik Peer from Ashdod.
"When they asked me to take part in the evacuation of the Israelis who were on the cruise ship off the coast of Japan, I had no doubt in my mind that it is exactly what I would do," Itzik said. "As emergency personnel in Magen David Adom, it is important to us to help all those in need, and we are sure to protect ourselves as well when we are on duty."
Rami Meushar from Lod, paramedic in MDA and volunteer since the age of 15, also took part in evacuating the Israelis who arrived from the cruise ship off the coast of Japan.
"It's a great honor, as a paramedic in the national rescue organization of Israel, to take park in the national effort to prevent the spread of Corona in Israel," said Rami. "To greet the Israelis as they finally landed back in Israel, after being held in isolation on the cruise ship, was very exciting. It was important to us to act courteous, and we took all measures to make sure that they felt calm and safe.”
MDA Medical Director Rami Miller said, "The Magen David Adom teams are prepared throughout the year, and work skillfully and professionally wherever they are required to provide medical care and evacuation of patients suspected of carrying infectious diseases. Therefore, the issue of protecting MDA teams is not something new for us, and we are practiced and experienced in the routine."
MDA Director General Eli Bin said, "At Magen David Adom, we were prepared ahead of time for the evacuation of the eleven Israelis who landed in the country, after spending two weeks in isolation on a ship off the coast of Japan. The paramedics who evacuated them, were provided with full kits designed for these cases, in order to prevent any possibility of infection. MDA works in full coordination and cooperation with the health and foreign ministries, with the airport authority and the Sheba hospital in Tel Hashomer, and will continue to assist in the national effort to prevent the spread of the Corona virus in Israel."
The four Israeli passengers who were diagnosed with coronavirus are still hospitalized in Japan and are expected to be released from the hospital next week and return to Israel. They are in good condition.