Health Minister and his wife diagnosed with coronavirus

Minister Yaakov Litzman and his wife are feeling well and will be in isolation. Anyone who has come in contact with them will be notified.

Elad Benari ,

Yaakov Litzman
Yaakov Litzman
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and his wife have tested positive for coronavirus, Litzman's office said on Wednesday night.

According to the statement, Litzman, 71, and his wife are feeling well, receiving proper care and will remain in isolation in accordance with the Ministry of Health's instructions.

As required and in accordance with the epidemiological investigation to be carried out, those who have been exposed to Minister Litzman and his wife in the past two weeks will be notified that they must enter isolation.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been notified. Litzman will continue to operate from his home, in line with medical recommendations.

According to numbers released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday evening, there have been 6,092 cases of coronavirus in Israel so far, 95 of whom are in serious condition. 26 people have so far died of the virus. 241 Israelis recovered.

Netanyahu earlier on Wednesday announced new steps in the fight against the coronavirus.

“We are tightening the restrictions on movement into and out of Bnei Brak, and other areas as well, in order to prevent infection. When I say other areas, the intention is, for example, to certain neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv; you know the problem. I want to emphasize immediately, regarding Bnei Brak and any other place for which we are tightening the restrictions on movement. We will see to everyone and their needs,” he said.

"I would like to point out that there has been a very positive change among the haredi public. The haredi public has well internalized the danger of the spread of the coronavirus. It is listening to the instructions and is behaving responsibly, with full backing from the rabbis,” added the Prime Minister.

“I would like to point out that within Bnei Brak, it is possible to move around in keeping with the instructions that apply everywhere else in the country – 100 meters from the building, and so on. I know that this is difficult but it is for the good of the residents, not just for their health but for their lives and for the lives of all citizens of Israel. This is the time for the widest possible solidarity among us, all citizens of Israel. This is the time for mutual guarantee between all citizens of Israel,” continued Netanyahu.

He called on Israeli citizens to wear masks when leaving their homes: “We are asking you, citizens of Israel, all of you, to wear masks in the public sphere. If you do not have a mask, use a scarf or any other face covering that will reduce the spread of the virus to others.”

“Along with the Finance Minister, I decided to give a special stipend for the Passover holiday. Every family with children will receive NIS 500 per child up to and including the fourth child, of course up to age 18. Every senior citizen will receive a NIS 500 supplement to their monthly allowance. These grants will go directly to the bank, without forms, without bureaucracy, directly to bank accounts. The government will submit a draft law to this effect to the Knesset and I hope all parts of the house will support this in lightning legislation,” said Netanyahu.

“You are called on to have the seder and the Passover holiday only with the nuclear family that is with you now. That is, only with those who are already with you at home because a small seder is a safe seder. This year, more than ever, we will adopt the Passover festival of our forefathers in Egypt: Passover in houses. Every father and mother will have Passover with the children that live with them in the same house with strict observance, of course, of the rules of hygiene. I emphasize – only with those who are now with you in the house,” he added.