Magen David Adom announced on Wednesday that it suspended coronavirus testing for about an hour across Israel after the Ministry of Health instructed Health Maintenance Organization’s (HMOs) to stop using swabs imported from China for fear they may be faulty or contaminated.

“We were given Ali-Express-grade swabs without anyone noticing, and people realized pretty quickly what they’ve done. The main problem is in the substance in the test tube,” a Health Ministry source told Ynet.

The problem was detected by an employee in one of Israel’s virology labs, who noticed that the color of the test results was different than it should have been, which suggests some kind of malfunction.

Thousands of Israelis have already been tested in recent days using the Chinese swabs. Health officials believe that some 10,000 faulty swabs were sent to HMOs; those tested with them will most likely be called for a retest.

HMOs are currently waiting for confirmation from the Ministry of Health to re-examine those tested using the faulty swabs.

All HMOs and MDA have alternative types of swabs produced by Biological Industries and Novomed, according to Ynet.

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