Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu entered quarantine until Friday after exposure to a person identified as a coronavirus carrier, his office said on Monday afternoon.
Netanyahu underwent tests on Sunday and Monday, which returned negative for the virus, the statement added.
This is the third time that the PM has been required to go into isolation since the start of the pandemic due to exposure to sick staff members, though he himself has not contracted the illness.
Following the announcement, Netanyahu tweeted that he is “continuing to work around the clock to bring millions of vaccines to the citizens of Israel and to strengthen our economy.” He declared on Sunday his intention to be the first in the country to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Likud MK Dovid Bitan, 60, was stricken with a serious case of the virus. He was taken to the Sheba Medical Center when his oxygen levels fell, it was announced on Sunday. According to media reports, he was in intensive care. A statement released on behalf of Bitan on Sunday said that he had received treatment at home in recent days but was hospitalized after his oxygen saturation levels dropped.
Likud MK Miki Zohar announced that he was entering quarantine after meeting with Bitan on Thursday.
Bitan lengthens the list of lawmakers and ministers who have contracted the virus, including then-health minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel, Yerushalayim Affairs Minister Rafi Peretz, and Shas MK Yinon Azoulay.