A secretary in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau was found to be infected with the coronavirus, the Prime Minister’s Office said Monday, possibly pushing the premier back into quarantine for the fourth time since the start of the pandemic.
The secretary, who was not named, tested positive during routine checks of those around the prime minister, the PMO said in a statement. The person’s condition was not known.
An epidemiological review was to be carried out in the coming hours to determine who had been in close enough contact with the worker to require quarantine for 14 days in accordance with Health Ministry regulations.
“The prime minister and his staff will act according to Health Ministry orders,” the PMO said, but did not clarify if Netanyahu will also undergo a virus test.
Netanyahu, 71, has already had to enter quarantine three times in the past, after an aide came down with the virus, as well as when then-health minister Yaakov Litzman became sick.
Most recently, he had to isolate following his return from the US to sign agreements on the normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, though the Health Ministry agreed to shorten that period to five days from the usual 14.
It was not clear if the ministry would give Netanyahu any special discount should he need to quarantine this time.
Last week, the country’s coronavirus czar announced plans to shorten the required quarantine time to 10 days, but the new rules, which require increased testing, have yet to be implemented.