Knesset fumigated ahead of swearing-in, over virus fears
Toxic politics

Knesset fumigated ahead of swearing-in, over virus fears

Photos and video shared by parliament show it being disinfected; Speaker Edelstein has temperature taken at entrance

Before Monday’s Knesset swearing-in, the parliament building was thoroughly disinfected by a man in a gas mask and white suit.

Photos and video footage shared by the Knesset on Sunday showed the plenum being disinfected.

The 23rd Knesset was sworn in on Monday, but due to coronavirus fears, lawmakers took their oaths in batches of three.

The Knesset Guard was also taking the temperatures of those entering parliament, including Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein is tested for fever outside the Knesset on March 16, 2020. (Knesset Spokespersons’ Office)

According to Channel 12, Likud Minister Tzachi Hanegbi entered the parliament despite his possible exposure to COVID-19.

The minister said he was already in the building when the Knesset Guard informed him that the wife of a man he recently attended a meeting with had contracted the virus.

A nearly empty plenum, due to restrictions against the coronavirus, is seen at the swearing-in of the 23rd Knesset, March 16, 2020. (Gideon Sharon/Knesset Spokesperson’s Office)

Hanegbi was awaiting the man’s test results on Monday evening.

Two other lawmakers from Blue and White who came in contact with the man avoided the Knesset on Monday, and will be sworn in on a later date.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his inner circle were tested for the virus as a precaution on Sunday, his office said.

All the tests returned negative, as did similar tests of President Reuven Rivlin and his staff.

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