Israeli COVID testing sites will operate 24/7 to meet demand


Some coronavirus testing sites will operate 24/7 from Monday to meet the increased demand caused by the spread of the Omicron COVID variant.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday pledged at a special press conference to find a solution to the seemingly endless queues afflicting many coronavirus testing centers nationwide amid a dramatic increase in COVID cases.
Bennett’s plan to overcome the public rush to test complexes – stimulated by predictions from health authorities that the spread of the new strain will peak in the coming weeks – depends mainly on “demand reduction”, not on the expansion and strengthening of test centers.

“I ask everyone to show understanding and patience,” Bennett said at a press conference on Sunday.

“If there are any issues, and there are – like long lines for testing – rest assured that we will take care of them.”

“But the situation is that we have a huge amount of confirmed cases, all at once – beyond the reasonable capacity of the system. We are preparing to change the criteria of the tests, in order to quickly reduce the heavy load,” he said. he declared. noted.

According to a senior health ministry official, the new scheme will seek to “exempt entire population groups from the need to be tested.”

And while the list of potential candidates for the exemption has not yet been released, it appears the ministry is aiming to exempt from testing anyone who has been vaccinated if exposed to a verified patient.

“It is possible that we will set a criterion whereby only people over 60 and those with symptoms will be sent for testing,” said the source, who added that “the queues in Israel are shorter than the lines overseas, but the Israelis don’t know how to line up. “

Magen David Adom, meanwhile, has announced that he will open various new test complexes, strengthen existing teams and extend the working hours of the complexes to help alleviate the load.

“Magen David Adom is aware of heavy loads and queues and is working around the clock to reduce the wait time,” the service said.


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