Coronavirus tests in Israel to increase to 60,000 per day

The Health Ministry will spend NIS 4 billion to ensure this goal is reached, the ministry said Sunday.

TESTING FOR coronavirus at a Leumit Health Fund lab in Or Yehuda. (photo credit: FLASH90)
TESTING FOR coronavirus at a Leumit Health Fund lab in Or Yehuda.
(photo credit: FLASH90)
The Health Ministry has committed some NIS 4 billion for the next year-and-a-half to ensure that the country is able to screen an average of 60,000 people per day for the novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry said Sunday.
The money will be invested in several new contracts, including an expanded contract with the MyHeritage lab, which will enable it to increase from 10,000 daily tests to 20,000. MyHeritage and the ministry are expected to sign their new contract on Sunday.
Moreover, a Health Ministry tender is out to sign contracts with two private labs. And, there are plans to increase capacity at the Health Funds to be able to complete up to 30,000 tests per day.
When Health Minister Yuli Edelstein took office, only about 3,000 people were being screened for the virus daily. His goal was to increase testing first to around 30,000 and then 60,000 by winter.
Over Shabbat, less than 10,000 people were screened. However, in the last two months, there have been days where between 20,000 and 30,000 people were tested.
“I urge citizens,” Edelstein said Sunday, “If you have a reason to be tested, do not hesitate!”
He said the testing system should not be a barrier to managing the epidemic. But he reminded that increased testing is “just one of the ways to deal with the coronavirus in the winter. We also need your cooperation. Together, we will win.”