Coronavirus Sweeps Through Knesset

YERUSHALAYIM -
UTJ MK Rabbi Yitzhak Pindrus. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The coronavirus crisis made itself felt in the Israeli government on Wednesday, as at least 14 lawmakers and ministers infected with COVID-19 were absent from the Knesset and their offices, The Times of Israel said.

Six members of the coalition, including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, his deputy Idan Roll (Yesh Atid), Public Security Minister Omer Barlev (Labor), and MKs Michael Biton (Blue and White), Yomtob Kalfon (Yamina) and Emilie Moatti (Labor), are self-isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus.

In the opposition, eight lawmakers were quarantined on Wednesday after testing positive, including three Likud MKs: Haim Katz, Ofir Katz and Etty Atia. Yoav Ben-Tzur (Shas), Rabbi Yisrael Eichler (UTJ), Rabbi Yitzhak Pindrus (UTJ), Osama Saadi (Joint List) and Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionism) were also infected.

That amounted to 10%, or 12 out of 120 MKs out sick due to the virus. (Barlev and Roll are not members of the Knesset.)

The Health Ministry said on Wednesday that out of 360,038 virus tests carried out, 12.09 percent returned positive, the highest value since September 29, 2020, when it was 15.29%.

The number of seriously ill patients was given as 254, one fewer than the day before. Of those, 84 are considered critical and 63 are on ventilators.

With the death of a patient the previous day, the toll since the start of the pandemic reached 8,274.

A Tuesday evening meeting of the coronavirus cabinet ended without any major decisions.