18 Koreans test positive for COVID-19 after Israel pilgrimage

/ 07:19 PM February 23, 2020

Yonhap via The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

SEOUL — Of 76 Koreans who traveled to Israel for religious pilgrimages in February, 18 tested positive for the deadly coronavirus upon returning home, local health authorities said Sunday.

Two groups of Roman Catholic travelers stayed in Israel for about a week each for religious tourism earlier this month, visiting packed religious sites.


Among 39 Koreans from North Gyeongsang Province who visited Israel from Feb. 8-16, 18 have been confirmed positive, including a tour guide residing in Seoul.

A 59-year-old woman who lives in Yecheon County, North Gyeongsang Province, was the first confirmed patient. She was unable to go to work upon arrival due to a high fever and respiratory problems.


Local health authorities are scrambling to narrow down the exact times when the patients could have been infected, leaving open the possibility that a group member may have caught the virus prior to departure or somewhere along the travel route either in Israel or Korea.

Another group of 37 people from Jeju Island traveled to Israel from Feb. 11-21, and one person with a cough was waiting for their test results as of Sunday afternoon.

The presence of COVID-19 in these Korean tourists, as well as the skyrocketing number of confirmed cases here, prompted Israel to bar travelers from Korea from entering the country, the Israeli government said.

As a result, some 130 Koreans who landed in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, local time, were sent back to Korea after being denied entry.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Asia, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, Israel, pilgrimage, Public Health, South korea
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.