Love in the time of coronavirus: Quarantined couple reunited after 2 weeks
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Love in the time of coronavirus: Quarantined couple reunited after 2 weeks

Rachel Biton, who came back to Israel on Wednesday after treatment for coronavirus in Japan, greets husband after he is released from Israeli hospital

Yitzhak and Rachel Biton reunite on February 28, 2020 after nearly 2 weeks separation due to coronavirus (Screen grab/Kan)
Yitzhak and Rachel Biton reunite on February 28, 2020 after nearly 2 weeks separation due to coronavirus (Screen grab/Kan)

Yitzhak Biton was finally reunited with his wife Rachel at their home in Eilat on Friday after the two were separated for nearly two weeks while they were treated for coronavirus on opposite sides of the world.

Rachel was cared for in a Japanese hospital after she contracted the virus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship. She flew back to Israel on Wednesday.

Yitzhak was later released from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center where he received treatment for coronavirus.

In a video posted to social media, the couple can be seen having an emotional reunion, almost two weeks after they last saw each other.

Fifteen Israelis were among some 3,700 who were kept on the Diamond Princess ship for two weeks off the coast of Japan earlier this month, after a passenger who had already disembarked in Hong Kong was found to be infected.

Overall, at least 705 people have been diagnosed with the virus on board the Diamond Princess, including passengers who were allowed to leave the boat after testing negative. There have been four deaths linked to the virus from the ship.

A passenger stands on the balcony of the cruise ship Diamond Princess anchored at the Yokohama Port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Feb. 7, 2020 (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Israel has taken far-reaching steps to prevent an outbreak, banning entry to foreigners who were recently in Italy, China and a handful of East Asian countries, and forcing all Israelis recently in these areas to self-quarantine for 14 days.

In a dramatic statement Wednesday, the Health Ministry urged Israelis to seriously consider refraining from traveling abroad.

In making the announcement, Israel became the first country to urge its citizens to refrain from international travel entirely because of the outbreak, which started in China in December and has since infected over 80,000 worldwide and claimed well over 2,000 lives, almost all of them in China.

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