Entire Foreign Ministry cadet course in quarantine due to case of COVID-19
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Entire Foreign Ministry cadet course in quarantine due to case of COVID-19

21 future diplomats and three instructors in self-isolation after cadet found infected with coronavirus

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

The 36th Foreign Ministry cadet's course, March 2020 (MFA)
The 36th Foreign Ministry cadet's course, March 2020 (MFA)

This year’s entire crop of future diplomats on Saturday was ordered to self-quarantine after one member was found to carry the coronavirus, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The Foreign Ministry’s cadet course, which is considered one of the most coveted career path in Israel’s civil service, had started only two days earlier. A total of 24 people — 21 future diplomats and three instructors — will be required to remain isolated in their homes for 14 days.

The cadet likely caught the virus while staying in the same place as a group of US tourists, two of whom carried it, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. After consultations with medical professionals, the ministry decided to send everyone in the course into quarantine.

The ministry’s director-general, Yuval Rotem, opened the 36th cadets course at a festive ceremony Thursday evening. In a speech, he noted the ministry’s role in tackling the coronavirus epidemic, with diplomats in various embassies continuing to report to headquarters in Jerusalem, maintaining contact with local officials and assisting Israelis abroad.

“The tools you will acquire in the cadet course will serve you on your missions in the world and in your work at the ministry in Israel,” Rotem said. “You will be the ones to determine which achievements the State of Israel will reach, because you will be the one who will lead the country to these achievements.”

The Foreign Ministry cadet’s course, March 2020 (MFA)

In a press release the ministry’s spokesperson Lior Haiat sent out that night, he noted that this year’s group was already nicknamed “Corona course.”

Among the 21 cadets are Israelis from all segments of society, including a recent immigrant from Venezuela, two members of the Ethiopian-Israeli community, and, for the first time, an Ultra-Orthodox woman.

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