Safety first in Israel

The Israeli government are considering testing all participants for Swine Flu before the start of the Maccabiah.

Deputy Health Minister Ya’akov Litzman expressed concern that the thousands of athletes could bring the infection into Israel, and said that the ministry was considering ways to prevent the disease from spreading.

“Some 5,000 athletes from around the world are expected to come here,” he said. “I think we should examine them all before they arrive in the country.

“I don’t want to reach a situation in which another 5,000 people come here and just increase.”

So far, the ministry said 271 Israelis have been diagnosed with the disease.

Yaron Michaeli, director of PR at the Maccabiah, said: “We will operate according to the instructions of the Israeli Ministry of Health, likewise each and every tourist who arrives and visits in Israel. There is no difference.”

The Maccabi HMO announced that it is setting up a telephone hotline, which people who suspect they have the disease can call to determine whether they should see a doctor.

    Last updated: 2:26pm, June 25 2009