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COVID home test kits are coming to Israel – Here’s what you need to know

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has promised Israelis that rapid home coronavirus tests will be available “in the coming days”.

What does a home test look like and how do citizens get one?

These at-home test kits are likely sold in pharmacies, as they are in other countries where they’re approved around the world — including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France, according to David Pappo, president of the Israel Pharmaceutical Association, who has his own pharmacy in Ramle.

the KIts will be purchased from commercial companies abroad and imported into the country through various distributors, some of which are already known and others distribute rapid tests in Israel, such as Remipharm Group, which represents US company Quidel in Israel.

Quidel produces the Sofia Rapid Antigen Tests that were used in various capacities during the latest wave. It is also known for its QuickVue In-Line Strep A test. The company has been working with the Ministry of Health and Health Funds for about 30 years.

While no final prices have been released, tests are expected to cost around NIS 20 each and can be sold in packs of one, two, or even five for large families.

Pappo told The Jerusalem Post that the first kit likely to hit the market as early as this week is Quidel’s QuickVue home test, which was approved by the American Food and Drug Administration in March 2021 and produces results in just 10 minutes. It is considered to be 99.3% accurate.

The company submitted the test to the Department of Health for approval four months ago and is expected to receive confirmation “within hours or days,” a representative told the Post.

How does QuickVue work?


After washing your hands or using hand sanitizer:1 – Remove the contents from the kit and check that they are all there. The kit contains step-by-step instructions, a pre-filled tube, nasal swab and test strip. 2 – Remove the cap from the tube and place it back in the tray in a predefined hole labeled “tube holder”. 3 – Open the nasal swab and remove the swab by the handle. Then insert the cotton swab about a centimeter to three-quarters of an inch into your nose and rub around in a circular motion. Repeat in the second nostril.

4 – Place the swab in the tube and rotate it three or four times. Then leave it on for a minute.5 – Carefully remove the swab from the tube and twist it along the inside wall of the tube to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.6 – Open the test strip package. 7 – Place the test strip in the tube for 10 minutes. 8 – Remove the test strip and place it on the strip on the instruction sheet. Be sure to read your results within five minutes. Positive is indicated by a blue and pink line, negative by only a blue line, and invalid if there is no blue line (even if there is a pink line) or the strip is empty. Another test that the Department of Health has asked for approval is even easier to use: OraSure Technologies’ InteliSwab. A company representative said, “we’re just waiting for the paperwork to be completed.” This test received FDA approval last month, is considered 98% accurate and takes 30 minutes to give results. InteliSwab comes with a smart one-piece swab and tube. 1 – The swab is placed in each nostril, where it is rubbed around in a circular motion.2 – It is then placed in the test tube and swirled around there as well. 3 – The test tube will sit for up to 30 minutes and the results will be revealed. It’s unclear what other companies may be planning to enter the Israeli market since Bennett’s announcement. One of the aforementioned companies asked the Department of Health for a list of possible matches, the Post learned, but received no response. “We receive thousands of inquiries from parents and educational institutions looking for immediate and accessible solutions,” said Sagi Yaniv, Marketing and Sales Manager of the Remipharm Group. When these tests are available, they could revolutionize life in the shadow of the coronavirus. “Suppose you want to visit your elderly parents and have symptoms,” Pappo suggested. “You do a simple test. If it’s negative, you can go and see them.” The tests can also be used in offices with many employees. For example, staff could be asked to take a home test twice a week and present their negative test to the company to keep the workplace COVID-19 free. “If you know you are negative for COVID, you have a lot more peace, more self-confidence, you can visit your parents with peace of mind or take your children with you,” Pappo said. “This could normalize everyday life in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.”

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