Blinken to test for Covid as Bennett tests positive

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On Sunday, Bennett met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jerusalem…reports Asian Lite News

After having met with the Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem the previous day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will test for COVID-19.

Bennett, who was tested for Covid-19 as announced by his office on Monday, is isolating at home.

“Upon learning of Prime Minister Bennett’s positive test result, we determined that only Secretary Blinken is considered a close contact. He will follow all CDC guidance, including by masking and undergoing appropriate testing,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office on Monday said: “The Prime Minister is feeling well and will continue his schedule as planned from his home.”

On Sunday, Bennett met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jerusalem.

In the evening, he rushed to the site of a shooting attack in the country’s northern city of Hadera and held a situation assessment with senior security officials.

The prime minister tested for Covid-19 development comes when Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is set to begn his visit India from April 3, his first such visit after assuming office last year.

Naftali is undertaking the visit on the occasion of the commemoration of 30 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel.

Bennett is paying the visit to India from April 3-5 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in an official statement.

Both the leaders had earlier met on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in November last year. They also had a telephonic conversation on August 16, 2021.

“The visit by Bennett would be his first to India in his capacity as Prime Minister. This visit would take place on the occasion of the commemoration of 30 years of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel and 75 years of India’s Independence,” MEA said in a statement.

Israel is experiencing a modest increase in COVID-19 infections as an omicron spreads there as in many other countries. Bennett and nearly half of Israel have received three vaccinations, according to the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Health Ministry has reported 15,596 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 3,869,819.

The country’s death toll stood at 10,485.

In face of rising infections nationwide fuelled by the BA.2 Omicron subvariant, the Ministry on March 24 announced a vaccination campaign for people aged 60 and over.

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