Former PM Netanyahu Contracts Coronavirus

Netanyahu tests positive for COVID after attending a ceremony at the Israeli parliament

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tested positive for coronavirus, his Likud party announced Wednesday, after the opposition leader attended a ceremony in the Knesset marking the immigration of Moroccan Jews to Israel earlier in the day.

So far, 6,668 people were diagnosed with the virus in Israel, of which slightly over 20 percent were unvaccinated, according to Health Ministry data. Currently, 410 patients are in serious condition, with 174 on ventilators.

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Israel’s fifth wave of the pandemic, characterized by the highly infectious Omicron variant, is receding, with rates of infection, hospitalization, and deaths continuing to drop.

However, there are still thousands of new cases identified daily, and the downward trend is not always consistent.

Last week, Israel’s R number – the average number of people each coronavirus carrier infects – rose slightly from 0.6 to 0.76, before going slightly down again.

“The pandemic is not over,” said Prof. Hagai Levine, chairman of the Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians. “It is just wrong to go on with our lives and forget about COVID. My colleagues and I are definitely worried.”

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