“A Coronavirus Test For Every Israeli,” Israel’s COVID Czar Says

Israeli COVID-19 testing site (Oded Balilty, AP)

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Israel’s coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu announced on Tuesday evening that coronavirus tests will now be made available for every Israeli without a doctor’s referral.

Gamzu was quoted on Monday as saying that he would test every Israeli resident for the coronavirus if feasible since he believes that the key to halting the pandemic is identifying asymptomatic coronavirus carriers in order to stop the chain of infection, and apparently he subsequently decided that it is feasible. Coronavirus testing centers began carrying out the free tests already on Wednesday, with those wanting to get tested only required to present a Teudat Zehut (identity card).

To date, only Israelis residing in red zones (which have all now been changed to “orange zones”) were able to get tested for the coronavirus without a doctor’s referral.

“The Kupat Cholim (HMOs) are ready and will carry this out in the coming days,” Gamzu said. “Everything will be open and available, and test results will also be available within hours,” Gamzu said. “I want the entire state of Israel to have a positive rate of less than 5% so we need more testing.”

“I want every person to get tested, especially anyone who has the slightest suspicion of carrying the virus but is asymptomatic. As many people as possible should get tested as there are enough test kits. I’m not worried that the labs will collapse. The Kupot Cholim are working and are aware of the laboratories’ workloads. There may be some hiccups here and there, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matovic has also said that he believes that the only way to contain the coronavirus is through mass testing and announced plans to test all Slovakian residents aged 10 years and over, recruiting 8,000 soldiers to assist in the venture.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)