Israeli PM Netanyahu, team tested for coronavirus despite no symptoms

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been tested for the coronavirus as part of precautionary measures as the outbreak continues to infect thousands across the globe.

The prime minister’s office said Sunday that Netanyahu and those who work closely with him have been tested for the COVID-19 virus despite showing no symptoms.

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“In accordance with instructions by the manager of Defense and Emergency at the Prime Minister’s Office, routine corona tests are conducted for the immediate environment of the prime minister as well as the prime minister,” the office said in a statement. “None of the people showed any symptoms before the test.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approaches the podium to speak from his Jerusalem office on Saturday, March 14, 2020, saying Israel’s restaurants and places of entertainment will be closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. He also encouraged people not to go to their workplaces unless absolutely necessary. (Gali Tibbon/Pool via AP)

The results of the tests have not yet been provided.

The virus has spread to more than 100 countries, infected more than 150,000 people worldwide and killed more than 5,700. In Israel, some 200 people have been infected with no casualties yet, as severe measures seem to have proven effective so far.


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Last week, Netanyahu banned gatherings of 100 or more people and ordered two weeks of home quarantine for those arriving in Israel from overseas.

Much of the country ground to a standstill Sunday, with schools, malls and places of entertainment shut down. Employees were encouraged to work from home and strict restrictions have been placed on personal interactions.

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The decision came just ahead of the Passover and Easter holiday seasons, when Israel is flooded with overseas visitors and was sure to deal another blow to the already struggling tourism industry.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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