MK David Bitan violates COVID-19 guidelines, 30 people in quarantine

"I thought I had the flu and nothing more," said MK Bitan.

David Bitan in Knesset on February 5, 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
David Bitan in Knesset on February 5, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
MK David Bitan violated the Health Ministry's guidelines by meeting with others despite showing cough-related symptoms after becoming infected with coronavirus on Tuesday, according to N12.
"I thought I had the flu and nothing more. I did not have a fever, and my cough had phlegm. It started on Thursday night. I met people after that, but I thought I had the flu." Bitan told N12.
"As soon as I felt sick, I wanted to do a test. The coronavirus cough is a dry cough. Look at the guidelines. I had a non-dry cough, I had a cough with phlegm."
Bitan's conduct was condemned by senior health officials. "How is it possible that an elected official is unaware of the guidelines?" officials said, N12 reported Wednesday.
"Due to the fact that he was infected, about 30 people, including three MKs, went into quarantine."
MKs Haim Katz, Ofir Katz, Eti Atiah and Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevitch were among those who were required to go into quarantine, according to the Knesset spokeswoman.
However, Bitan maintained that he did not violate any restrictions, and had fully complied with guidelines.
"When Bitan learned that his assistant was infected, he received an examination without delay and acted in accordance with all the usual and required rules, including notifying the public and the media and cooperating with the Health Ministry," Bitan's spokesperson explained in a statement, according to N12.
"The reason most public figures and friends went into quarantine is because of contact with his assistants and because of a procedure whereby people who met Bitan or his assistants go into quarantine even if they met with them a week before.
"It is unfortunate that while MK Bitan is dealing with coronary heart disease, Health Ministry officials are focusing on false claims that have nothing to do with reality." 

Translated by Abigail Adler.