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Jerusalem mayor self-isolates after contact with virus carrier

TV network says municipal leader initially sought to avoid quarantine but was told the rules obligated him

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion at the 17th annual Jerusalem Conference of the 'Besheva' group, on February 25, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion at the 17th annual Jerusalem Conference of the 'Besheva' group, on February 25, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion entered isolation on Monday after he came into contact with a person later found to be a coronavirus carrier.

Channel 13 news reported that Lion had initially claimed that he did not need to isolate despite spending time in the presence of the official from the Mayanei HaYeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak. He allegedly claimed that he had not been in contact with the person for a period of time long enough to warrant quarantine under Health Ministry regulations.

However the outlet said after it queried Lion’s position with the Health Ministry, the mayor was told that he did need to go into isolation.

The Health Ministry said in a statement that Lion was not initially named in the epidemiolocal investigation and therefore not originally told that he must self-isolate.

Mayanei Hayeshua Medical team treat a patient with COVID-19 at the coronavirus unit, in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, April 27, 2020 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

“A comprehensive epidemiological investigation has been carried out and the contacts that have been defined as close have been placed in isolation, some of them from the hospital management. With regards to the mayor, his name was not given in the original list of contacts by the hospital. After further investigation, it was found that he was indeed required to isolate and he was informed of this directive,” the ministry said.

According to Health Ministry guidelines, individuals are required to enter isolation if they are within two meters of a virus carrier for at least 15 minutes.

Additionally, anyone who has any physical contact with someone who is carrying the infection, such as a kiss, a hug or a handshake, is required to isolate regardless of the amount of time spent with the patient.

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