בנימין נתניהו
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu tests for coronavirus

According to PM Office's emergency guidelines, Netanyahu and close surroundings subjected to routine check-ups; no one tests positive for virus or displays related symptoms

Moran Azulay |
Published: 03.15.20 , 17:01
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tested for the novel coronavirus on Sunday as a precautionary measure in face of a global outbreak of the highly contagious pathogen.
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  • According to the Prime Minister Office's emergency guidelines, Netanyahu and his close surroundings are subjected to routine check-ups.
    בנימין נתניהובנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Reuters)
    So far, no one has tested positive for the virus or displayed any related symptoms.
    On Saturday, Netanyahu announced that Israel will shut most shopping centers, restaurants, cafes and entertainment facilities for at least five weeks as part of the measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
    He told a news conference that exceptions would include supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations.
    Netanyahu kicked off by saying he had received permission from the Justice Ministry to obtain digital data on confirmed coronavirus patients in order to retrace their whereabouts.
    "The enemy is invisible, and we want to locate it," he said, “First of all, we have to identify the ill and we are using everything at our disposal, including digital means that we have to fight against terrorism."
    The move would help trace a potential spread of the disease without the Health Ministry having to conduct epidemiological investigations, which are not always accurate.
    The prime minister also told anyone who is not required to physically attend their workplace to stay home. In case someone must leave their house, they must keep a distance of at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) from others.
    מרכזי קניות ריקיםמרכזי קניות ריקים
    Man wearing protective mask
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump announced in a press conference on Saturday he underwent a similar test, which later showed the president has tested negative.
    Trump said he was gratified that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested negative for the virus, after the pair sat next to each other for an extended period of time last weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club. A senior aide to Bolsonaro tested positive.
    The White House physician said in a memo late Friday that Trump was also exposed to a second guest at the club dinner, "sharing the table with the president," who has since tested positive for the virus. Still despite the incidents, the physician said Trump had only "LOW risk" interactions and testing "is not currently indicated."
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