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Defense Ministry inks deal with MyHeritage to increase COVID-19 testing

The Defense Ministry signs a deal with the DNA testing firm MyHeritage to increase the number of tests it performs daily from 10,000 to 20,000.

Last month, Defense Minister Benny Gantz called for his ministry to increase the number of tests conducted each day to 30,000. His office does not immediately explain the 10,000-test discrepancy.

Gantz visited MyHeritage’s laboratory this morning, along with the head of procurements for the Defense Ministry, Avi Dadon, who oversaw the negotiations with the company, as well as MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet and the director of the laboratory Asaf Younger.

“This is not a business deal but a partnership in the national effort,” Gantz says following the visit.

“It is very important that we continue the good work that you are doing here and to do so in partnership with the Health Ministry, that sets the standards and regulations,” he adds.

The MyHeritage laboratory is meant to play a key role in a government initiative to protect Israel’s elderly population from the coronavirus, known as “Shield of Fathers and Mothers.”

“We are taking a significant part in the ‘Shield of Fathers and Mothers’ network, and we are happy to take part in this mission along with other parts of the country,” Japhet says.

Last month, the Defense Ministry was charged with expanding the government’s coronavirus testing program, both in terms of the number and the speed at which tests are performed.

— Judah Ari Gross

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