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Israel Suspends Parliament Sessions after MP Infected with Virus

Israel Suspends Parliament Sessions after MP Infected with Virus

Thursday, 4 June, 2020 - 06:30
FILE PHOTO: Parents wait with their children to enter their elementary school in Sderot as it reopens following the ease of restrictions preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Israel May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat

Israel's parliament suspended sessions scheduled for Thursday after a lawmaker tested positive for the COVID-19 disease, while some schools shut down anew amid concerns over fresh outbreaks.

The 120-seat Knesset said non-essential staff have been asked to stay home and all of Thursday's committee meetings were postponed "pending an investigation of the ramifications" of lawmaker Sami Abou Shahadeh having contracted the coronavirus.

"I appeal to all of those who have been in my immediate vicinity to self-isolate and get tested," Abou Shahadeh said on Twitter. "The virus is still among us and a return to so-called routine helps the virus spread with greater magnitude and speed."

Israel has reported 17,343 coronavirus cases and 290 deaths. More than 593,000 people in the country have been tested for the virus, the Health Ministry said.

Israel has eased curbs in recent weeks. But officials warn that public complacency could lead to a resurgence in cases.

Israeli schools reopened last month but there have been growing concerns that some children are infecting others despite precautionary measures.

Israeli media reported on Thursday that as many as 42 schools had closed over fresh outbreaks. But the Education Ministry did not confirm the figure.

"Any educational institution in which there is morbidity will be shut," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that school staff would continue seeking ways to protect and distance students from one another.

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