Rivlin takes rapid COVID test given by FDA's first approved antigen test

Israel was the first country to receive and begin operating the device after the United States.

President Reuven Rivlin is administered the Sofia rapid antigen coronavirus test by Clalit staff in Ashkelon. (photo credit: GPO/KOBI GIDEON)
President Reuven Rivlin is administered the Sofia rapid antigen coronavirus test by Clalit staff in Ashkelon.
(photo credit: GPO/KOBI GIDEON)
President Reuven Rivlin underwent a rapid coronavirus test performed by the first coronavirus antigen testing system approved by the FDA, called Sofia.
The test was administered to Rivlin at a Clalit public health services center in Ashkelon by one of the already thousands deployed throughout Israel in recent weeks. Israel was the first country to receive and begin operating the device after the United States. 
"I performed a quick coronavirus test on the Sofia device, which gives results in 15 minutes. Go out and get tested too. This is the only way we can stop the chain of infection," Rivlin said. 
The Sofia device is a groundbreaking technology which can administer up to 40 coronavirus tests on-the-spot within the timespan of one hour. The processing of tests administered on-the-spot eliminates the current need to transport tests to a laboratory located in a separate location - as is the current common method. 
Hundreds of Sofia devices are now located in Israel, operating everywhere from defense systems such as the IDF, police and prison services to nursing and assisted living homes - installed by the Magen Avot v'Imahot (protecting mothers and fathers) project. 
Since the beginning of Sofia operations in Israel, about 70,000 rapid tests have already been performed using the technology, and in coming weeks the number of tests is expected to rise to 200,000. 
To date, at least 55,000 Sofia devices are operating in different locations throughout the United States. Following Israel's lead, other countries began operating the devices, including the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Slovenia, bringing up weekly testing numbers administered by Sofia to about 2 million globally. 
"Public health centers and doctors are at the forefront of the fight against the virus, and they have a major role to play during this historic time," Rivlin said. 
"They are required to produce solutions while learning on the go. Solutions [are required] on the testing level, in addition to finding solutions for treating sick patients in quarantine, in addition to communicating with the public at the same time as handling all of the medical challenges on their hands," he said. 

Clalit Director Jonathan Locker said that it was an honor to have hosted the president. He added that during the coronavirus crisis, Clalit health services treated about 140,000 coronavirus patients, many of whom were classified as high risk, "providing each one with quality care during a crisis. Clalit's hospitals are at the forefront of treating the most severe corona patients, and staff are working tirelessly around the clock."
"During this period we treated 140,000 coronavirus patients in Clalit hospitals," said Clalit CEO Prof. Ehud Davidson, who presented the health system's winter preparations, which is expected to be set up to receive about 35,000 patients. 
"To meet this challenge we are working to recruit medical staff, a plan was presented to establish 250 home hospitalized systems, and emergency services centers for large cities," Davidson said.