Israel's health minister tests positive for coronavirus, Netanyahu in isolation

The Health Ministry's director general, the head of Mossad and the NSC head all enter quarantine after coming in contact with Litzman in past few days; health minister's wife also confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19

Ynet, News agencies|Updated:
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and his wife were diagnosed with coronavirus and are in isolation following guidelines, his ministry said on Thursday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu re-enters quarantine as a result, only one day after his first isolation stint.
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  • Several other senior officials, including the head of Israel's foreign intelligence agency Mossad, were also self-isolating due to contact with Litzman.
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    יעקב ליצמן
    יעקב ליצמן
    Health Minister Yaakov Litzman
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitz)
    Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov will self-isolate at a facility at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, he said on Twitter. He said he would continue managing the crisis through "digital means".
    It was also reported that the head of Mossad spy agency, Yossi Cohen will self-isolate at the intelligence agency's headquarters for three days. The head of National Security Council Meir Ben-Shabbat was asked to go into isolation after coming in contact with Litzman.
    Netanyahu had gone into isolation previously after a top aide tested positive for the virus, but Netanyahu has so far tested negative.
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    בנימין נתניהו יעקב ליצמן מאיר בן שבת משה בר סימן טוב
    בנימין נתניהו יעקב ליצמן מאיר בן שבת משה בר סימן טוב
    Benjamin Netanyahu, Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov, Yaakov Litzman and Meir Ben-Shabbat
    (Photo: Shalev Shalom)
    Israel has gone into near-lockdown to try to contain the virus outbreak.
    Israel's large, insular Ultra-Orthodox community, of which Litzman is a member, has been particularly hard hit by infections. In the early phases of the outbreak, some rabbis had pushed back or ignored government-mandated movement restrictions, but resistance appears to have diminished.
    3 View gallery
    משטרה ומחסומים בכניסה לבני ברק
    משטרה ומחסומים בכניסה לבני ברק
    Police roadblock at the entrance to Bnei Brak
    On Wednesday Netanyahu announced travel restrictions in and out of the predominately ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak in efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.
    Israel has reported just over 6,000 confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus, and 28 people have died of COVID-19.
    First published: 08:49, 04.02.20
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