Municipal officials in the primarily ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak have apparently prevented the IDF from opening a "quick" (with no need for an appointment) coronavirus testing facility in the city.
According to information attained by Ynet, city officials argued that the decision was due to a lower demand for testing, which they say local health maintenance organizations are capable of meeting.
Health officials, on the other hand, said that only one local clinic within the city of over 200,000 residents is able to conduct tests and supply is short.
The officials also accused Bnei Brak Mayor Avraham Rubinstein of trying to prevent testing in order to keep morbidity levels down and avoid the threat of further restrictions.
As a result, one of the most crowded communities in Israel, which has endured high infection rates, has no way to quickly and efficiently test its residents for coronavirus.
Contrary to the more radical ultra-Orthodox sects in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, where local rabbis have in the past directed their flocks to not get tested, the mainstream leadership of the sector, of which most Bnei Brak residents are part, have instructed residents to cooperate with authorities.
Also Tuesday, coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu said that Bnei Brak and Elad, another predominantly ultra-Orthodox community in central Israel, are eligible to have lockdown restrictions lifted from them as they are no longer classified as "red" zones, which places them under local closure.