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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Israel cancels joint drill with US over coronavirus concerns

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 05 March 2020 10:42 AM

Israel has canceled a major joint military drill with the United States over fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Following the instructions of the Israeli ministry of health and the situation assessment regarding the coronavirus, and in the coordination of the IDF chief of the general staff and the commander of US European Command, it has been decided to cancel the exercise," a statement by the Israeli military said on Wednesday.

The exercise, dubbed Juniper Cobra, started on Tuesday and was expected to last until March 13 with the participation of over 600 American troops, who had arrived from Germany and the US.

Another drill had been supposed to be held between the Israeli forces and US-European troops but was also suspended on Friday.

The Israeli regime has ordered travel restrictions for people arriving from Germany, France, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland over coronavirus concerns, and says people arriving from those states must be quarantined for 14 days.

The Tel Aviv regime has already imposed temporary bans on flights from China, Italy, Thailand, and Singapore.

Israeli media reports said 15 Israelis had been diagnosed with the deadly virus and some estimated 6,000 Israelis were in home quarantine.

The virus, known as COVID-19, emerged in the central city of Wuhan in China's Hubei Province late December last year and has so far claimed more than 3,000 lives worldwide.

More than 93,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide and the number of deaths from the virus has reached 3,110 globally, although most of them remain confined to China, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Last week, WHO, which has already declared the outbreak an international health emergency, raised the global coronavirus alert level from high to "very high'," its top level of risk assessment.

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