PM to self-isolate after aide turns out to be coronavirus carrier 

Source: PM to self-isolate after aide turns out to be coronavirus carrier –

Although it is unlikely that Netanyahu was infected, his advisers say he is taking the precaution until this can be ruled out.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began self-isolating on Monday after one his aides tested positive for coronavirus, though an initial investigation determined the 70-year-old was unlikely to have been infected, officials said.

Netanyahu is scheduled to undergo a coronavirus test by Tuesday, the officials said. A previous test, on March 15, came back negative.

Israel’s Health Ministry regulations generally require a 14-day self-isolation for anyone deemed to have been in proximity with a carrier, with the duration reduced for the number of days that have passed since the suspected exposure.

The infected aide had been present at an event last week in the Knesset attended by Netanyahu as well as opposition lawmakers with whom he is trying to build an emergency coalition government to help address the coronavirus crisis.

“The preliminary assessment is that there is no need for the PM to self-isolate as he was not in close contact with the patient, nor did he meet with her,” an Israeli official initially said. But later on Monday, the official said Netanyahu had “decided that he and his personal staff will be in isolation until the epidemiological investigation is completed”.

Israel has reported more than 4,000 cases and 16 fatalities as of Monday morning. With the Health Ministry warning that the dead could eventually number in the thousands, Netanyahu was due to convene officials on Monday to discuss a proposed total lockdown of clusters of coronavirus carriers to make sure they remain isolated from the rest of the country.

The Israeli official said Netanyahu has been following medical advice and holding most meetings by video-conference.


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