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Gantz and Horowitz Pay a Visit to the Airport

Jul 11, 2021

In recent news, Benny Gantz, the minister for defense, and Nitzan Horowitz, the health minister, paid a visit to the recently built coronavirus testing center at the Ben-Gurion Airport. The two had previously vowed to ensure that the airport no longer served as the weak point in the fight against the novel coronavirus. 

After his visit, Gantz said that the State of Israel can protect itself from the main source of new mutations entering the country, by monitoring the travelers. He stressed the importance of keeping the gates to the country open and adherence to coronavirus guidelines by the citizens, as well. 

Any passenger entering the country is required to take a PCR test before they can be allowed to leave the premises of the airport. Earlier, when this same policy was implemented, it created overcrowding at Ben-Gurion. There came a time when people were sent home without getting tested for the deadly disease. 

A tent has been set up right outside the main airport of Israel, which is the newly built testing station, constructed by the Defense Ministry. It joined hands with the Transportation and Health Ministries, to ensure a quick opening of the new complex. 

Horowitz explained that the number of testing stations had been doubled and this will prevent crowding and long lines. He went on to add that the new tent set up by the minister for defense, as well as the Defense Ministry, will cater to the huge flight load, expected in the following months. 

According to the health minister, there were some problematic loopholes, related to the airport, which have now been closed. In addition, fines have been levied for all those flying to countries, on the banned list, without seeking permission from the government-assigned committee first. All inbound passengers have been strictly instructed to isolate themselves until they receive negative results to their tests, which have been announced to be given out within 24 hours. 

In Horowitz’s words, it is extremely vital for the country to monitor the exits and entrances to Israel. He added that these strict regulations at the airport are going to allow the citizens of the state to maintain normal lives inside the country. 

On Sunday, the country registered around 423 cases of the coronavirus, which was a decrease as compared to the number of cases being recorded in the last week. However, the lower number was likely a result of a smaller number of tests undergoing processing. Some 70,000 tests were being processed on the weekdays, whereas 60,000 were carried out on the weekend. 

Despite the fact that the number of cases being recorded every day has gotten significantly higher, there has been a very limited increase in serious morbidity. Around a month ago, the State of Israel has recorded only 10 to 20 new cases of the disease. As of now, the number has surpassed several hundred. 

On Monday, around 47 patients were reported to be in serious condition. In the month of April, the country had a similar number of active patients but, the number of serious patients was well over 200. 

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