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Dozens of infected pilgrims caught returning from Uman with faked negative tests

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Dozens of pilgrims infected with the coronavirus flew back to Israel from Uman in Ukraine on Thursday using forged negative test results, as plans put in place to safeguard the annual pilgrimage appeared to fall into shambles.

There were concerns that there could be hundreds more such cases among the tens of thousands of pilgrims who traveled to Ukraine to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, which began Monday evening and ended Wednesday night, with concerns it could kick off a renewed surge in infections, just as the country appeared to be turning the tide on a recent wave.

The virus-infected arrivals who were identified by police on Thursday were transported to their homes for mandatory quarantine in ambulances and will later be prosecuted, according to Hebrew media reports.

The Border and Immigration Authority said in a statement that it had received information that dozens of people who tested positive in Ukraine had boarded planes with false negative tests.

One flight from Kiev was found to have 13 passengers who had forged tests, the Ynet website reported. The passengers were kept separated from others on the plane, and were immediately questioned by police when they arrived in Israel.

Unnamed sources told the Ynet website that some pilgrims who had tested positive managed to exit local quarantine hotels before the mandatory ten days isolation was over and, after traveling to Kiev, were able to obtain forged virus tests in order to board planes back to Israel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Thursday evening that authorities will press full criminal charges against the........

© The Times of Israel

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