Tuesday, May 26, 2020

(JNS) A top Israeli health official said this week that the government is about to launch a campaign to test the population for the coronavirus antibodies.

Israeli Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov told the New York Times that 100,000 Israelis across the country will soon undergo serological testing to gauge the extent of the spread of the virus thus far and prepare for a possible second wave.

“This is the most important mission: Get ready for the next wave, especially a wave during wintertime,” he said. “Luckily, the COVID-19 caught us post-influenza season. But we can’t assume that there’s not going to be a next wave or that it will be during summertime.”

“We want to know the truth” about whether the country is developing “herd immunity” and will be less vulnerable in the event of additional outbreaks, said Bar Siman-Tov.

If the tests reveal that too small a percentage of the population has antibodies, he said, the health system could be overwhelmed by a second wave.