Bennett in quarantine after daughter tests positive to COVID-19

“The Prime Minister and his family will act in accordance with the guidelines and rules,” the Prime Minister’s Office stated.

By Aryeh Savir/TPS

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett entered quarantine on Sunday after his daughter tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Bennett’s spokesman stated that the prime minister was tested with a quick antigen test before attending Sunday’s cabinet meeting and received a negative result.

Upon receiving the update about his daughter, Bennett left the cabinet meeting in the middle and Deputy Prime Minister Gideon Saar took over.

The government was holding a special meeting in the Golan Heights to unveil a massive plan to double the population in the area.

Bennett will undergo a PCR test and until he receives an answer he will stay in quarantine, separately from his daughter.

“The Prime Minister and his family will act in accordance with the guidelines and rules,” his office stated.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha Bitton was completely absent from the cabinet meeting due to her daughter testing positive for the Coronavirus.

Upon receiving her daughter’s test results, Shasha Bitton underwent a PCR test and is will stay in quarantine until the results are received.

Similarly, one of the employees at the Prime Minister’s Office who did a mandatory antigen test before attending the cabinet meeting tested positive for Corona. The worker was transferred to quarantine and did not come into contact with the prime minister or ministers.

Other workers who came in contact with the employee were tested and received a negative response in the rapid antigen test, but decided that they would not attend the cabinet meeting as an extra precaution.

This sprawling saga occurred as a total of 9,020 Israelis tested positive for Corona in the past week, meaning an average of about 1,300 a day, an 85% over the daily average of about 700 cases a day in the week before that.

The rate of Corona tests that returned positive over the weekend was 2.07%, the first time since the beginning of October that the positive rate was over 2%. At the same time, the infection coefficient (R) increased to 1.41, indicating the broad spread of the virus.

The Health Ministry updated over the weekend that it identified 591 new Omicron cases, out of a total of 1,118 verified cases in Israel so far, of which 723 were probably infected abroad. There is a “high suspicion” of another 861 Omicron cases.

Professor Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and an expert on COVID-19 in Israel, estimated that with about 440 Omicron cases a day and a documented R of 3.35, Israel will be contending with over 10,000 a day within two weeks.