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5 volunteer medics arrested over private coronavirus testing scheme

Five Magen David Adom volunteers have been arrested for illegally administering private coronavirus testing, racking up tens of thousands of shekels in earnings.

The five volunteers, described as Jerusalem residents between the ages of 20 and 30, would travel around the country, including to Ben Gurion Airport, to give the tests for a fee, police say. They would send the samples to a Palestinian lab in the West Bank or a private Jerusalem lab to avoid having the results included in the Health Ministry’s database.

Some of the samples are suspected of having been falsified to come out negative, thus clearing their clients of quarantine, police say.

Four of the five suspects have their remand extended until Friday.

“The suspects took public health into their own hands, while undermining the importance of accurate coronavirus testing, the goal of which is to prevent infection and help Israelis survive the epidemic with the fewest deaths possible,” police say.

The suspects operated out of a “desire for money,” police say, adding that the force was committed to bringing them to justice.

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