Coronavirus testing center in Be'er Sheva

Chaos in coronavirus testing leaves patients in limbo

Though efforts continue to increase testing for COVID-19, many find themselves left stranded after their test results were lost or are given contradictory directives from health officials, adding to the already harsh daily routine

Nina Fuchs |
Published: 04.01.20 , 22:56
As the Health Ministry continued its efforts to increase the number of daily coronavirus testing, still many patients wait days for the results, often delayed or even lost.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter
  • These patients are forced to remain in quarantine and test a second time for the virus, not knowing when results will arrive, slamming the ministry, MDA and the HMOs for their conduct.
    מתחם "היבדק וסע" בבאר שבעמתחם "היבדק וסע" בבאר שבע
    Coronavirus testing center in Be'er Sheva
    (Photo: Sapir Arluk )
    Shani Sadon Nir, a 33-year-old woman from Mevaseret Zion, came in contact with a confirmed patient at her workplace.
    "I entered quarantine and a few days later the MDA came to test me, despite the fact I didn't have any symptoms," she said.
    A day later, Shani received a call from the testing center, saying there was an error with her ID number, but did not call her back. Since she has not received the test result, she thought she was had not been infected.
    "I called my HMO, but no one could give me answers," she said. "I called my local HMO and they said they didn't have my test results and referred me to MDA. There they told me there was an error and they couldn't find my test results in the system. They said they might have given my results to a different person."
    Shani later called MDA again and was told that since she had no symptoms, she doesn't need to be tested and that she can leave quarantine.
    "The third time I called them, they said they do see my personal details in the system but not my test results and that I can leave quarantine and referred me to the Health Ministry," she said.
    But once she could the Health Ministry, they said that they don't have her results either and that she is forbidden to leave quarantine until she receives them.
    Frustrated with the conduct of the health system, Shani said that "it is absurd."
    "You see there is a problem and that you can't find my results. How long do I need to stay in quarantine? This doesn't make any sense. Do I need to deal with their mess? It's completely irrational to leave a person in quarantine until they find his results."
    Shani added that she does not know whether to go to work or not, saying that she is afraid to be pulled over the police and receive a fine.
    "As far as I'm concerned, I did more than enough regarding my quarantine.," she said. "I guess I'll never find out my real results."
    Dana, a 44-year-old woman from Tel Aviv, contracted the virus while in contact with a confirmed patient.
    She entered quarantine and was tested a few days later after showing symptoms.
    "I drove to be tested more than a week ago," she said. "They told me it would take three days to receive the results."
    בדיקות לצוות משעןבדיקות לצוות משען
    Coronavirus testing at the Mishan Retirement Home in Be'er Sheva
    When Dana noticed that three days passed and she still did not receive the results, she called the Health Ministry and was told it takes the results "five business days" to arrive.
    She also contacted MDA, who said they merely take samples, and her HMO, who told her they don't even know if she was tested until they receive the result.
    Several days later, she called her family physician and asked them what happened to her results.
    "The doctor told me that he didn't even see if I was tested at all. She contacted the central testing lab and said they had no data on me," she said.
    "I called MDA again and they recommended I should be tested again, but no one called me. Eventually, I got a call from my doctor who said I'm going to have another test and that until then, I can't leave quarantine."
    "This is an absurd situation," Dana said. "I'm in quarantine, with two kids, and I want to go out of the house. This is pure chaos. What is even scarier is that people might receive the wrong results."
    Eden Markfield, a 24-year-old woman from the central community of Matan, has also been waiting for over a week for her results and so far has been in quarantine for nearly two weeks after coming in contact with a confirmed patient.
    "I called everyone involved: MDA, HMO, Health Ministry, and no one has an answer for me," she said.
    "One office is referring me to the other. MDA is telling me I can leave quarantine, but the Health Ministry forbids it."
    She said the Health Ministry told her that she's probably going to have to do a second test since they had lost the first one.
    On the other hand, MDA told her that since she doesn't show any symptoms, she cannot be given a second test.
    "I'm very angry," she said, "they disrespect people, they disrespect us. I don't feel like they appreciate my life."
    The Health Ministry and MDA didn't comment.

    Talkbacks for this article 0