Israel's lawmaker who was spotted without masks tests positive; 700 employees quarantined

WION Web Team Jerusalem, Israel Jun 04, 2020, 04.30 PM(IST)

Israeli parliament Photograph:( Reuters )

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He had been spotted at various events, cafeterias, mourning gatherings, offices and families of coronavirus victims without a mask.

Israel reopened its economy after the country saw a decrease in the number of positive coronavirus cases. However, days after the country started functioning normally, a spike in positive cases was seen.

Now, Israel's parliament has cancelled meetings scheduled for Thursday, and asked nearly 700 employees to stay at home after a lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus, local media reported.

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The Israeli government had earlier allowed restaurants, bars, schools, offices, tourist attractions and other businesses to reopen to help the crippling economy.

Following the orders, the parliament, too, had started functioning again. However, a lawmaker from the Joint List, Samy Abu Shehadeh, announced on Thursday that he has tested positive.

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"I appeal to anyone who was in my immediate area to go in isolation and do a test. I ask everyone to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health," he tweeted.

"We must all internalise that the campaign is not over yet. The virus still exists between us and the supposed return to routine helps the virus spread in a big and fast way," he added.

He claimed to have come in contact with thousands of people since the economy has reopened, and has urged people to quarantine themselves and take care.

He had been spotted at various events, cafeterias, mourning gatherings, offices and families of coronavirus victims without a mask.

Several lawmakers have entered quarantine since the outbreak of the pandemic but only Yaakov Litzman, who was the Health Minister before the formation of the new government on May 17, was diagnosed positive with the COVID-19.

(With inputs from PTI)