Israeli HMOs this week are set to begin conducting tests for antibodies meant to reveal if person had coronavirus and has developed an immunity to it.
It was revealed last week that Israel was to conduct 100,000 serological tests for COVID-19 in an effort to determine the degree of infection in the population, after purchasing 2.4 million testing kits over two weeks ago.
If the tests prove to be a success, they would revolutionize the way in which the government has battled the virus until now.
It would allow large parts of the population to be excluded from the need for self-isolation, letting them to rejoin the workforce and even allow them to take flights without the need for a subsequent quarantine.
The Health Ministry said if the tests prove to be effective, the first to get tested will be at-risk populations, such as the elderly, people with underlying health conditions and medical staff. The tests will be conducted on a voluntary basis.
The test is performed as a regular blood test and will be conducted at HMO clinics around the country as well as in private homes if the person in question is in self-isolation or unable to leave home for other medical reasons.
The tests are cheap to obtain and very simple to perform with the results expected in 40 to 50 minutes following the checkup.
The antibodies, which protect the body from the virus, are said to develop some two weeks following the initial exposure to the pathogen. It is still unclear for how long the coronavirus antibodies remain active in the human body.