Israeli scientists appear to have developed a replacement for a material used to analyze samples in coronavirus tests, a source in the Health Ministry said Sunday.
It has been revealed earlier that the shortage of a key reagent (a substance that causes a chemical reaction) needed to analyze COVID-19 samples is bringing the number of tests down again and is expected to drop further.
The Beilinson Hospital Laboratory, which is part of the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, is said to have conducted tests on dozens of various materials in an effort to find the replacement for missing reagent - the amounts of which are scarce across the world.
The source said the scientists appear to have reached a breakthrough in the past 24 hours but the testing is still ongoing.
The Health Ministry began looking into developing a replacement as soon as it became obvious the material currently in use would be next to impossible to repurchase due to the substance’s scarcity across the world, making testing for COVID-19 impossible.
The ministry began importing chemicals from abroad, which were originally intended for other uses, in the hopes to develop the missing material in Israeli medical labs.
The number of COVID-19 tests have substantially decreased over the past few days due to the lack in the needed reagent, and will continue to decrease as long as the replacement material is not found.