(April 8, 2020 / Israel Hayom) Israel has signed a NIS 90 million ($25 million) deal with Chinese firm BGI to procure equipment that will allow it to increase its daily coronavirus testing capacity to at least 10,000, the country’s Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, 9,248 Israelis have been diagnosed with the virus, which has so far claimed 65 lives. Some 770 Israelis have recovered from it.
According to the Health Ministry, the new equipment will be installed in six laboratories over the next few weeks, and will be used alongside Israel’s current testing facilities.
BGI’s website describes it as a global genomics company based in Shenzhen, China, with clients in more than 66 countries.
The new equipment is designed to perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to directly detect viral nucleic acids indicative of COVID-19. BGI’s tests have been used widely in China, and are being distributed to over 50 other countries and regions, the firm said.
BGI says its equipment delivers test results in three hours. The testing kits also come equipped with a supply of reagents necessary for the chemical analyses of the tests. Israeli laboratories have nearly run out of these materials, something that has hampered their operations.
According to Channel 12 News, the number of tests conducted in Israel on Tuesday fell under 2,000—far below the goal of 30,000 daily tests ordered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks ago.
In the past week, the ministry did not release official testing numbers.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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.