Israel’ largest health-care provider, Clalit, has decided not to cooperate with a Chinese government company on coronavirus testing for fear that it would compromise the DNA data of its 4.9 million members, the N12 news site reported on Sunday.

The Israeli government intended to contract for the Chinese firm to supply six coronavirus testing laboratory facilities, complete with equipment and testing kits. However, Israel’s desire to protect its DNA database is holding up the deal.

The N12 report noted that no country gives other nations access to its DNA database, which is considered a sensitive national asset that can be used for good purposes, such as developing medicines, but that can also be exploited.

Israel is negotiating to add a clause to the contract that would bar China from accessing the DNA database, the report said.

The delay in the finalization of the deal is apparently one factor why Israel is not conducting the daily number of tests it aimed to be carrying out by this time.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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