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Number of daily coronavirus tests again falls below 10,000

Health Ministry says 9,269 tests performed Wednesday, after target number was hit for first time on consecutive days this week

A medical personnel takes a sample from a driver at a Magen David Adom drive-through testing site in the northern city of Kiryat Shmona on April 12, 2020. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)
A medical personnel takes a sample from a driver at a Magen David Adom drive-through testing site in the northern city of Kiryat Shmona on April 12, 2020. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)

The number of coronavirus tests performed in Israel has fallen back below 10,000, according to the Health Ministry, after Israel succeeded in hitting the benchmark earlier in the week.

A Health Ministry statement on Thursday said 9,269 tests were carried the day before, down from 11,501 on Tuesday and 10,401 on Monday.

Monday marked the first time over 10,000 tests were performed in a single day in Israel, a goal Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to meet weeks ago.

Netanyahu has also set a target of 30,000 tests a day, which the Health Ministry said on March 27 it would reach within two weeks after speaking with the premier.

The number of daily tests performed steadily rose this week after a significant drop the week before that the Health Ministry attributed to a need to switch to locally produced chemical reagents used in testing.

A worker takes a sample from a woman at a new Maccabi Healthcare Services testing booth in Jaffa that enables medical personnel to collect swab samples from individuals without wearing medical gear, April 16, 2020. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Also Thursday, Israeli HMOs Maccabi and Leumit each announced the rollout of a new type of testing station that doesn’t require those performing the tests to wear personal protective equipment.

“The station is designed so that there is positive air pressure inside the compartment, so that the test taker does not require expensive protective gear, which there is a shortage of and that makes the test taker’s job more difficult,” a statement from Leumit said.

Leumit said the station, which it developed with the military’s Technological and Logistics Directorate, would open Friday at its clinic in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. The Maccabi station was placed in Jaffa.

As of Thursday evening, there were 12,591 confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel and 143 deaths.

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