Israel’s Netanyahu tests negative for coronavirus after aide confirmed as carrier

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem on January 23, 2020.

Abir Sultan | AFP | Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tested negative for the coronavirus on Monday after a parliamentary aide was confirmed to be carrying the virus, though the 70-year-old leader would remain in isolation, a spokesman said.

Spokesman Ofir Gendelman said on Twitter that Netanyahu, his family and staff all tested negative, but “he will remain quarantined until further instructions are issued by the Ministry of Health”.

Israel’s Health Ministry regulations generally require 14-day self-isolation for anyone deemed to have been in proximity to a carrier, with the duration reduced for the number of days that have passed since the suspected exposure.

Israeli media said the infected aide had been present at a parliament session last week attended by Netanyahu as well as opposition lawmakers with whom he is trying to build an emergency coalition government to help address the coronavirus crisis.

Israel has reported 4,695 cases and 16 fatalities.

An Israeli official said Netanyahu has been following medical advice and holding most meetings by video-conference.

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