MDA teams to test Israelis who may have Coronavirus symptoms

February 25, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Magen David Adom teams have begun visiting homes to take a mucosal sample of those staying in solitary confinement having reported symptoms such as a cough, high fever and more, and were instructed by the doctor from the Ministry of Health.

MDA paramedic prepares to test

Over the weekend, a special hotline was established in collaboration with MDA, the Ministry of Health and the health insurance companies, to answer civilian inquiries about Corona. Since the time of its opening, more than 15,000 inquiries were received. MDA explains that most referrals are primarily from concerned citizens who have no symptoms at all, and the paramedics and nurses at the centre are reassuring and guiding everyone in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s instructions.

This morning, as mentioned, MDA teams began arriving in the homes of residents in solitary confinement to take mucosal specimens. The sample is taken by a paramedic who is protected at the highest level, and is delivered by MDA to a laboratory in the centre of the country.

In case an urgent and life-saving evacuation is needed, requiring hospitalization of a patient suspected of being infected with Corona, MDA EMTs will use an insulated stretcher that allows patient evacuation without the risk of contagion.

Yesterday, 75 MDA paramedics underwent dedicated training where they learned how to take a mucosal sample from a patient, in order to check for the presence of the virus. So far, about 30 samples have been taken, the results of which will be verified after several hours. It should be emphasized that up until now, no positive results have been recorded in the country, except for those who arrived last week from the cruise ship in Japan.

MDA paramedic Fadi Dekaidek carried out two tests this morning, at homes of those in isolation. He said: “Before I enter the home I contact the patient and his family to let them know that I will be arriving, and what is likely to happen. I am doing this because it is a complicated situation, requiring a certain amount of reassurance, just the way we were trained. As a MDA paramedic, you find yourself in a complex situation. I walk into the patient’s home for a few minutes, wearing a full protective suit in order to perform the test and immediately leave. The specimen goes to the lab for testing in an airtight box. I hope these people are healthy and that tests will be negative. ”


MDA Director-General, Eli Bin added: “Starting this morning, we began taking mucosal samples from those who have been in isolation, and have developed symptoms, in order to check if the virus is present. Not every person required to be in isolation needs these tests, only those who, it has been declared necessary by the doctor of The Ministry of Health. We are working in full cooperation and coordination with all parties to be at the forefront of the national effort in preventing the spread of Corona in Israel.”

MDA calls the public to obey the Ministry of Health’s instructions and to adhere to hygiene rules, and to take part in the national effort of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus in Israel.

As a precaution against the potential spread of coronavirus, the Israel Ministry of Health has instructed the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality to restrict the participation of international runners in the Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon, taking place this upcoming Friday.

Marathon officials will contact registrants abroad to inform them of the Israel Ministry of Health’s decision. Registrants’ money will be fully refunded.


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