Jerusalem, March 19 (IANS) Israel’s spy agency Mossad has come in the forefront of moves to tackle the coronavirus spread in the country, but its efforts have not been very helpful, reports said on Thursday.
The Mossad has been importing essential medical equipment to battle Covid-19 and it had already purchased 100,000 testing kits from abroad but was told by the Health Ministry that they were “not exactly what we needed”, as per the local media.
Jerusalem Post quoted Health Ministry’s Deputy Director-General Itamar Grotto as saying that “unfortunately, what they brought is not exactly what we were lacking”.
Grotto said there are various components that are involved in the tests and that Mossad did not bring them all.
A spokesperson for Magen David Adom — the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross — told the paper that specifically, the tests were missing a patented liquid into which the testing sticks need to be dipped before a screening can be administered. Without it, the test cannot be done.
As many as 529 people have tested positive in the country so far, and the Health Ministry has been has begun texting people who have come into contact with confirmed patients, telling them to self-isolate, the BBC reported.
However, civil rights groups are protesting at reports that the Shin Bet security agency has been given permission to monitor mobile phones in order to prevent the spread of the virus.