The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has launched an operation to conduct genetic COVID-19 tests for all air crews, the Hebrew-language daily newspaper “Yedioth Ahronoth” reported on Tuesday.
This is a unique genetic test carried out by scientists of the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) located in the city of Rehovot in central Israel.
The test performs full genetic sequencing and detects virus’ substance in a sample taken with a swab from the upper respiratory tract.
The samples taken from the air crews, as well as the IAF technical staffs, are transferred to a WIS lab, where they are decoded in large scales.
Although the decoding process takes 36 hours, it gives results to a large group of subjects at once, which allows to rule out or confirm infection in large homogeneous groups.
Completing the tests will allow the IAF to change the “capsule” method currently used. In this method, the shifts in all IAF arrays are isolated from each other and do not meet at all, so that in case of infection in one shift, the other one can continue to operate without interruption.
A senior IAF officer told the newspaper, “This testing operation will give us a good snapshot of the infected, and will enable us to free large, uninfected groups from the restrictions we imposed on them”. Enditem