COVID-19: Israel's PM Self-Quarantine As Health Minister Tests Positive

Europe News

Israel health minister who is known to frequent Benjamin Netanyahu has tested positive and this has forced the PM to re-enter quarantine.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previous quarantine was when one of his staffs tested positive for COVID-19 and is set to enter a new seven-day self-isolation following his contacts with the 71-year-old Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.

Litzman is of the Gur Hassidic sect whose wife also tested positive is the most prominent member of the hard-hit ultra-Orthodox community to test positive for the virus that has infected more than 6,200 Israelis.

"Litzman and his wife feel well, are receiving treatment and will be quarantined and supervised," a health ministry statement said.

The health ministry's director and Litzman's staff also self-quarantined, and the ministry said requests to enter isolation will be sent to those who came in contact with the minister in the past two weeks.

Israel has gone into near-lockdown to try to contain the outbreak. The country has reported more than 6,200 confirmed cases and 31 people have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia or death.