A Greek delegation led by the Greek prime minister, foreign minister, and tourism minister arrived in Israel on Monday, to sign a deal creating a travel corridor for vaccinated tourists between the two countries. Furthermore, Greece also agreed upon testing the new Israeli “miracle drug” EXO-CD24 at its largest hospital.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, after which the two leaders subsequently announced they had signed a “green passport” travel agreement at a joint press conference. According to this agreement, tourism between the two countries will be allowed “without any limitations, no self-isolation, nothing.”
Apart from the travel corridor, the premiers also touched upon the trials of Israel’s miracle COVID-19 treating drug which was remarkably successful in curing seriously ill coronavirus patients in phase I clinical trials conducted at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. The drug, EXO-CD24, was administered to 30 moderately to severely ill coronavirus patients and 29 of them showed a marked improvement within two days and were released from the hospital three to five days later. The 30th patient also recovered but her recovery took several more days.
The drug fights the cytokine storm – a life-threatening immune response during which the body starts to attack its own cells – which scientists believe is fueling many coronavirus deaths. Cytokines are part of the body’s normal immune response to infection but their sudden release in large quantities can cause multisystem organ failure and death. Researchers in Israel have successfully completed phase 1 trials and are now seeking approval from the Health Ministry to proceed with more advanced clinical trials.
Talking about the meet later, Netanyahu said that one of the first questions Mitsotakis asked him during their meeting was whether Greece could take part in the drug’s clinical trials, and Netanyahu happily obliged.
On the other hand, Israel is also in discussions with the UK and Estonia on establishing a travel corridor between their countries for vaccinated tourists, Army Radio reported on Monday. Another report by Ynet said that Israel is also in similar discussions with Romania, Serbia, Cyprus, Georgia, and Seychelles.