Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion AirportFlash 90

Five people who tested COVID-19 positive flew from Ben Gurion Airport to various destinations abroad in recent days, Channel 12 News reported tonight.

The cases came to light when Kupat Holim representatives called Israelis for follow-up on their condition as coronavirus carriers, when it emerged that they had flown abroad.

In one case, a Kupah representative called an Israeli couple for a follow-up, and then the couple told him that they had flown to Serbia for a family vacation.

In a second case, Kupah staff sought to make sure the family of a child who tested coronavirus positive was in isolation, but in conversation with family members he found out that they all flew together for a vacation in Antalya, Turkey.

The Kupah contacted the authorities, who have not been able to locate the coronavirus carriers who are also due to return to Israel on commercial flights. Locating the passengers who flew with the people in question abroad is also tedious due to difficulty in concentrating the data and locating those who flew.

Six months into the outbreak, Border Control information systems are not connected with those of the Health Ministry and police, so it is not possible to know whether those who boarded were exposed to coronavirus and should be in isolation.

Quite a few coronavirus positive Israelis can fly freely without being stopped by border guards.

Kupat Holim executives told Channel 12 News: "We press the issue at every meeting with the authorities but unfortunately find out time and time again that there's still no synchronization between the Ministry and the police or Border Control."

The police said: "The Israel Police is the one who contacted the Health Ministry in the first place and reported the matter to them. In the State of Israel there is a body entrusted with transmitting information on patients and those in isolation and it is the Health Ministry, which is also the entity that is supposed to transfer the information to the Immigration and Population Authority without any police mediation. The administrative authority has the authority to block exit and fine isolation violators, and the Health Ministry is responsible for the data.

"It should be noted that we offered the Ministry to assist in developing an interface that would regulate the issue, but the Health Ministry refrained from regulating the issue and thereby regulating the development costs, establishing an available center for the authority, and accepting responsibility for passing the data. This is an incident that is all about the two above-mentioned bodies from start to finish and any attempt to link it to the police is crooked and distorted," they added.