Spying a bug, Mossad chief to self-isolate after Israel's health minister tests positive for coronavirus
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, 71, tested positive for COVID-19, making him the most senior Israeli official to have contracted the virus. Litzman's wife also tested positive. Both have been quarantined and are receiving treatment.
Following Litzman's diagnosis, Israeli health ministry staff, including director-general Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, have gone into isolation and will continue working from home.
The chief of Israel's Mossad agency, the head of the National Security Council and the leader of the Hassidic community to which Litzman belongs have also been advised to self-isolate, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who held coronavirus-related meetings with Litzman over the past month, has been informed of the minister's diagnosis.
Israel has gone into near lockdown to try to contain the virus outbreak.
Israel's large, insular Ultra-Orthodox community, of which Litzman is a member, has been particularly hard hit by infections. In the early phases of the outbreak, some rabbis had pushed back or ignored government-mandated movement restrictions, but resistance appears to have diminished.
Israel has reported just over 6,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 26 people have died.