Netanyahu Returns to Quarantine After Litzman Diagnosed

netanyahu quarantine
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu (L) with Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (R) and Health Ministry General Manager Moshe Bar Siman Tov at a press conference about the coronavirus, at the Prime Minister’s office in Yerushalayim on Shushan Purim. (Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ must go into quarantine for a second time, after Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman was diagnosed as having coronavirus on Thursday.

Along with PM Netanyahu, Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, and Sigal Sadetzki, head of public health at the Health Ministry, will also require isolation, as all of them have had contact with Rabbi Litzman in recent days.

Rabbi Litzman said on Thursday that he is feeling well, and none of the abovementioned have shown symptoms of the disease.

Netanyahu had just emerged from self-quarantine on Wednesday evening, 14 days after he last met with one of his advisers, who also contracted the virus. He, his family and several close advisers were tested on Monday and were cleared to leave isolation.

The prime minister will work from his Yerushalayim residence until Wednesday.

Both Minister Litzman and Bar Siman-Tov will continue to manage the national response to coronavirus while in isolation, according to the Health Ministry.

“Bar Siman-Tov will remain in quarantine in a specialized facility that includes a work space and the relevant communication equipment,” the ministry said in a statement issued Thursday morning.

“We planned for a possibility like this and prepared accordingly,” the ministry’s director-general said. “I will continue to manage this event together with my managerial colleagues with digital tools.

“Needing to go into quarantine can happen to anyone, and we must abide by the orders. I continue to call for citizens of Israel to abide by the Health Ministry’s directives,” Bar Siman-Tov added.

The Health Minister, who, due to religious considerations has never had internet at home, will have it installed in order to conduct the urgent business of the Ministry, according to the Kan broadcaster.

Until now, he has sufficed with printouts and paper statements and a kosher cellphone to run the ministry from his home.

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