Middle East, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Netanyahu tests negative for coronavirus

Israeli prime minister remains in quarantine after testing negative for virus, awaiting result of another test

Ali Abo Rezeg and Zehra Nur Duz   | 30.03.2020
Netanyahu tests negative for coronavirus


The Israeli premier tested negative for the novel coronavirus on Monday but will remain in quarantine, according to local Israeli media.   

Benjamin Netanyahu's test earlier Monday tested negative, however, he will remain in quarantine awaiting the result of another test, according to a statement by Netanyahu's office covered by Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.  

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu's office announced that the premier and some of his advisors would go into quarantine after an aide tested positive for the virus. 

Netanyahu decided to enter self-quarantine until he received the test result, according to his office.

Netanyahu's parliamentary adviser Rivka Paluch had earlier tested positive for COVID-19.

Paluch reportedly spent the last few days "in the vicinity" of Netanyahu, Knesset members and other advisers, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Netanyahu had tested negative for the coronavirus after he and his immediate circle underwent tests for the virus on March 15.

Israeli health authorities have so far confirmed 16 deaths and over 4,300 infections from the virus.

According to the country's Health Ministry, 80 patients are in critical condition and 139 have recovered.

As part of measures to curb the virus, all schools have been closed in the country and all meetings in public open or closed areas with more than 10 people have been banned.

All venues except supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and banks have also been closed starting March 15. Tel Aviv also banned the entry of foreign citizens to the country, except for those who have residency in Israel.

The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China last December. There are currently more than 775,300 cases worldwide and over 37,000 reported deaths with more than 164,400 recoveries, according to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. 

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