Jerusalem faces the coronavirus. (Nati Shohat/Flash90) Jerusalem faces the coronavirus. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Jerusalem faces the coronavirus


The $25 million deal includes the procurement of equipment and reagents that will allow Israel to increase its daily testing capacity five-fold, according to Israel’s Health Ministry.

By Maytal Yasur Beit-Or, Israel Hayom via JNS

Israel has signed a NIS 90 million ($25 million) deal with Chinese firm BGI to procure equipment that will allow it to increase its daily coronavirus testing capacity to at least 10,000, the country’s Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.

As of Sunday, over 10,000 Israelis have been diagnosed with the virus, which has so far claimed more than 100 lives. Over 770 Israelis have recovered from it.

According to the Health Ministry, the new equipment will be installed in six laboratories over the next few weeks, and will be used alongside Israel’s current testing facilities.

BGI’s website describes it as a global genomics company based in Shenzhen, China, with clients in more than 66 countries.

The new equipment is designed to perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to directly detect viral nucleic acids indicative of COVID-19. BGI’s tests have been used widely in China, and are being distributed to over 50 other countries and regions, the firm said.

BGI says its equipment delivers test results in three hours. The testing kits also come equipped with a supply of reagents necessary for the chemical analyses of the tests. Israeli laboratories have nearly run out of these materials, something that has hampered their operations.

According to Channel 12 News, the number of tests conducted in Israel on Tuesday fell under 2,000—far below the goal of 30,000 daily tests ordered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several weeks ago.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.



Donate to the Corona Emergency Relief Fund. Coronavirus has taken a huge toll on the people of Israel. The poor, elderly and ill are most vulnerable.

Israeli soldiers, security officers and medical care providers operate under great danger and risk to life.

Over 1 million Israelis are out of work. Many cannot make ends meet. We provide financial aid, food, medical supplies and more. Funds are distributed where needed most. The time to act is now!

United with Israel extends a special note of appreciation to the Genesis Prize for their generous support.