Long Lines, No Answers in Covid Mess

Cars line up at a drive-through COVID-19 testing center in Modi’in. (Flash90)

Israelis were faced with long lines for Covid vaccinations, a collapse of the Health Ministry’s phone hotline amid and a run on home tests at pharmacies, amid reports of soaring infection levels on Sunday.

Driving the pressure on health facilities was a change in the rules followed by widespread confusion regarding them.

As of now, those who are over 60 or at high risk are prioritized at PCR testing stations. Those who are under 60 and fully vaccinated are encouraged to conduct a rapid antigen test, either at home or at a testing station, and can use those results to get exemptions from quarantine if they are exposed to a confirmed coronavirus carrier.

On Sunday, some people reported waiting over three hours at a Yerushalayim center in Ein Yael for antigen kits.

Those seeking clarification of the new regulations were also frustrated when they attempted to use the Health Ministry’s phone hotline. Many had to wait for long periods, others got cut off.

Ynet cited the ministry department handling the hotline as saying it was receiving about 45,000 calls every day, “which indeed creates heavy traffic.”

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