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Saturday Jul 2, 2022

Israel begins conducting COVID-19 saliva tests

2021 Oct 08, 13:28, JERUSALEM
In this Thursday, January 7, 2021 file photo, an Israeli military paramedic prepares a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, to be administered to elderly people at a medical centre in Ashdod, southern Israel. After racing to a quick start, Israel is blaming online misinformation for a sudden slowdown in its campaign to vaccinate its adult population. Israel's Health Ministry, which is spearheading the vaccination efforts, is employing both carrots and sticks as it tries to persuade reluctant holdouts to get immunised. (Photo via AP)

Israel has begun conducting saliva tests to detect COVID-19, the state's Ministry of Health, Bar Ilan University (BIU) and the Ministry of Defense said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The sampling is carried out in a testing compound in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, as part of a two-week pilot program to validate the saliva tests.

As part of the pilot, hundreds of people of different ages will be tested with both saliva and standard PCR swab tests to compare results, as well as the comfort and safety of the saliva sampling.

The saliva test used in the pilot was developed by BIU, and successfully tested in a laboratory, with performance and sensitivity similar to those of the standard swab PCR test, it added.

The waiting time for saliva test results is about 45 minutes, instead of several hours in the common swab test.

The program is included in a joint effort to identify and develop new technologies as part of the national actions to tackle the virus.

This effort is led by the Health Ministry's Healthcare Israel unit, whose role is to deliver life-saving healthcare innovations and the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (MAFAT) at the Defense Ministry. 


Israel Saliva Test covid-19 Israel Ministry of Health Ministry of Defense Tel Aviv PCR tests COVID Swab Test National Actions virus tackle
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