Updated Mar 30, 2020 - World

Netanyahu in self-isolation after aide tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Monday that he would enter self-isolation after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.

The latest: Netanyahu was tested for the virus on Monday, along with his wife, sons and close aides. All of those tests came back negative, his office said, but he plans to remain in isolation until he receives further instructions from the ministry of health.

The big picture: It's the latest brush with the coronavirus for a major world leader. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive last week and is currently in self-isolation with mild symptoms, while President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro both tested negative after interacting with people who had the virus.

The backdrop: The announcement that Netanyahu would self-quarantine came in the midst of coalition negotiations over an emergency government, involving both Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz, to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Netanyahu had strictly observed social distancing precautions on the orders of Shin Bet security service doctors, holding most meetings via video conference and avoiding most in-person meetings except with several of his aides.

  • He met with the aide who tested positive last week. At first, Netanyahu's office said the encounter was brief and there was no need for him to be quarantined.
  • Later, his office said they he would follow ministry of health guidelines and enter self-quarantine.
  • Netanyahu previously tested negative for coronavirus 10 days ago.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the results of Netanyahu's test.

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