Testing Supply Up, Demand Down

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel has been conducting less testing for coronavirus in recent days. Even though its capacity for testing has increased, demand from the public has declined.

The Health Ministry attributed the downturn to fewer coronavirus test referrals and “a decrease in the number of people with corona symptoms who want to be tested.”

On Sunday, 8,393 tests were performed and 88 people were found to be positive. On Monday, 9,546 tests were performed and 110 people were found positive, according to the Ministry. Previously, the figure had passed 10,000.

Ironically, the falling off comes at a time when, after strenuous efforts to obtain test materials, health officials say the laboratories can now process up to 15,000 daily.

To compensate for the reduced demand, the Ministry said it plans to launch random testing initiatives in areas with high infection rates. It said a recently signed deal with the China-based Beijing Genomics Institute will soon allow Israel to conduct up to 20,000 daily tests.

The testing remains an important tool for identifying coronavirus patients, as well as asymptomatic carriers, and sending them into quarantine, while more people are cleared for a return to work, school and other activities.