search

Three senior advisers to Lapid test positive for COVID

PM’s national security adviser, senior special adviser and spokesperson are all isolating, as Israel’s 6th coronavirus wave continues to recede

Eyal Hulata, Israel's National Security Council chairman, looks on during the 17th IISS Manama Dialogue in the Bahraini capital Manama, on November 20, 2021 (Mazen MAHDI / AFP)
Eyal Hulata, Israel's National Security Council chairman, looks on during the 17th IISS Manama Dialogue in the Bahraini capital Manama, on November 20, 2021 (Mazen MAHDI / AFP)

Three senior members of Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s inner circle tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata, senior special adviser to the prime minister Gili Haushner and the prime minister’s spokesman Roy Konkol contracted the virus.

All three are currently isolating and have been doing so since their positive test, the PMO said.

Lapid himself contracted the virus in January.

Israel appears to be past the peak of its sixth COVID wave, which has been less severe than its predecessors in light of the ultra-infectious but less lethal Omicron variant and the widespread immunity brought by vaccines and previous infections.

Health Ministry figures published Wednesday showed that 5,459 new virus patients were diagnosed a day earlier.

According to the data, there were 372 patients in serious condition, and of the 23,014 virus tests carried out on Tuesday, 23.72 percent returned a positive result.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid holds a cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on July 24, 2022. (RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP)

The transmission rate, the so-called R number, was at 0.8, indicating the outbreak is in decline. The figure measures how many people each coronavirus carrier infects on average, with any reading above 1 meaning the spread of COVID-19 is increasing.

Since the start of the pandemic, 11,336 people have died in Israel from COVID-19.

While the sixth wave of infections appears to be receding in Israel, coronavirus czar Salman Zarka, who is spearheading the national response to the pandemic, warned earlier this month that a new seventh wave is likely this fall.

The timing is expected around the November 1 election, but he said “we are in dialogue with the Central Elections Commission to ensure that all citizens will be able to vote.”

read more:

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed