Joint List MK warns of ‘disaster’ if virus testing for Arab Israelis not increased

Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen is calling for expanding coronavirus testing for Arab Israelis after the Health Ministry warned against an outbreak centered on the northern town of Deir al-Asad.

“I again warn about the worrying and severe under-testing in Arab communities that could lead to a disaster of unprecedented proportions,” Jabareen writes on Twitter.

He says additional testing is needed among Arabs “so we can get a better picture [of the infection] rate relative to the general population.”

According to the Ynet news site, there have been 510 confirmed COVID-19 cases among Arab Israelis, just over four percent of the 12,200 total infections in the country.

With Arabs making up some 20 percent of Israel’s population, it is unclear if the relatively low number of reported infections is due to a lack of testing or if the virus is less prevalent in these communities for other reasons.

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