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Police officer in charge of anti-Netanyahu protests contracts coronavirus

Koby Yaakobi was in direct contact with crowds of demonstrators at Sunday’s mass rally at the PM’s residence

Jerusalem police officer Koby Yaakobi wears a mask with his nose exposed while standing among a crowd of protesters demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem on Sunday, September 20, 2020. (Screen capture/Ynet News)
Jerusalem police officer Koby Yaakobi wears a mask with his nose exposed while standing among a crowd of protesters demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem on Sunday, September 20, 2020. (Screen capture/Ynet News)

Jerusalem Police officer Koby Yaakobi, commander of the police forces securing the weekly mass protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tested positive for coronavirus Tuesday night, police confirmed.

It has not yet been specified where Yaakobi contracted the virus, according to Hebrew media reports.

An epidemiological investigation has begun to determine who had been in direct contact with Yaakobi while he was potentially contagious so that they can immediately enter isolation.

Yaakobi was present at a Sunday night rally at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem and was seen in a video published by Ynet in the midst of crowds of protesters heckling him. The video showed him wearing his mask with his nose exposed, which is incorrect according to Health Ministry guidelines.

As part of the epidemiological investigation, demonstrators who came in contact with him are being examined, according to reports.

The Jerusalem Police said in a statement that Yaakobi “is currently in isolation in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines and is feeling well.”

There has been no evidence offered that protesters in Israel have been spreading the virus, along with conflicting reports in the US as to whether there was a significant increase in coronavirus cases in areas that held George Floyd protests in June and July.

Due to soaring numbers of coronavirus cases, Israel is slated to enter a more severe lockdown from Friday afternoon until October 10.

The new restrictions come a week after the current lockdown began and as new daily confirmed infections neared 7,000 on Wednesday for the second straight day.

Demonstrations will be limited to within a kilometer of one’s home, in groups of up to 20. However, the mass protests outside Netanyahu’s residence will be allowed to continue with up to 2,000 participants at a time, as long as they are divided into 20-person “capsules.”

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