Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisers have voluntarily self-isolated as a precaution until Health Ministry officials finish their epidemiological investigation into whether he was exposed to the coronavirus, his office said Monday.

“Even before the epidemiological investigation is over and to remove all doubt, the prime minister has decided that he and his close staff will remain in isolation until the epidemiological investigation is completed,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

“In accordance with the findings, the Health Ministry and the personal physician of the prime minister will set a day to end the isolation,” it added.

Netanyahu’s aide Rivka Paluch was confirmed infected with the virus on Sunday, but it remains unclear whether the prime minister was in close contact with her.

Channel 12 news reported that Netanyahu was expected to self-quarantine for a week after meeting with Paluch on Thursday. Paluch, Netanyahu’s adviser on ultra-Orthodox affairs, tested positive hours after her husband was hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. According to the report, health officials were deliberating on what steps the premier should take following notification of her diagnosis.

Under Health Ministry orders, tens of thousands of Israelis are in self-quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus and the entire country is in an almost total lockdown that has seen most of the population confined to their homes, only allowed out for essential needs.

Source: Times of Israel