Rivka Paluch
Rivka Paluch
Photo: Amit Shabi
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

PM provisionally self-isolates after aide's coronavirus diagnosis

Quarantine for premier and inner circle could end if epidemiological study shows Rivka Paluch, Netanyahu's adviser on ultra-Orthodox affairs, did not have contact with prime minister in past two weeks; Gantz may also be subjected to self-isolation

Itamar Eichner |
Updated: 03.30.20 , 14:42
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his inner circle are placing themselves in self-isolation pending epidemiological results after one of his advisers tested positive for the coronavirus, the Prime Minister's Office said Monday.
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  • Netanyahu made the decision after his adviser on ultra-Orthodox affairs, Rivka Paluch, tested positive for the virus. He was to undergo another coronavirus test later in the day, two weeks after was previously tested.
    בנימין נתניהו בנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: GPO)
    The PMO said that Netanyahu had not been in the same room as Paluch in the previous two weeks, contrary to reports in the Hebrew-language media.
    "Health officials are currently conducting a full epidemiological report into a worker in the prime minister's vicinity and will subsequently issue guidelines," the PMO said in a statement.
    "A preliminary examination shows the two have not been in the same room for the past two weeks," the PMO said before the new move was announced, adding that, "The epidemiological report is ongoing."
    "We would like to stress that the prime minister and those around him strictly adhere to Health Minister regulations, in conjunction with his personal physician, and [he] holds most of his conferences via video. The prime minister and his surroundings will keep obeying Health Ministry guidelines."
    Rivka Paluch Rivka Paluch
    Rivka Paluch
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Paluch tested positive for coronavirus after her husband was admitted to the hospital with the pathogen.
    She denies having had any close contact with Netanyahu during a recent meeting at the Knesset and doubts she transmitted the disease to anyone.
    Blue & White party leader Benny Gantz may also be subject to self-isolation, according to The Jerusalem Post, having met with Netanyahu for late-night coalition talks at the weekend.
    First published: 14:21 , 03.30.20
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