It’s not quite as enjoyable as ordering a burger from the car, but Israelis who need to be tested for coronavirus can head to the nearest drive-through testing facility set up by Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA). Drivers don’t even have to get out of the car to get swabbed.

The Israeli coronavirus drive-through concept is now coming to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa.

Congo’s Honorary Consul in Israel, Dan Gertler, saw how Israel was handling coronavirus testing and contacted MDA to help with his country’s fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Building the drive-through facility is the easy part. What’s trickier is the software that manages the entire process—from sampling to sending the swab off to the lab and responding to patients.

In addition to creating a version of Israel’s software specifically for the Congo, MDA prepared a training program with videos and written materials for the Congolese medical professionals who began operating the facility at the end of May.

“During the long period in which we operated the many drive-through sampling facilities, the technology we used proved itself, along with the effective and safe practices” that prevented infection among MDA’s teams, said MDA chief information officer Ido Rosenblat. “From the moment they contacted us, we were ready to help and to share our knowledge.”

MDA director general Eli Bin added that “the medical capabilities and technologies of Magen David Adom, along the methods we are developing, are among the most advanced in the world. We are now happy to share this knowledge with other medical entities around the world, for the sake of saving human lives.”

The MDA project is the latest example of Israel’s longstanding tradition of providing aid to the developing world. Israel established MASHAV in 1958, just a decade after the state was established. MASHAV has helped build hospitals, airports, universities and roads in almost every African country. Israel provided food aid to the Congo in 2008.

This article was first published by Israel21c.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.