Israel cuts time in isolation to 10 days despite spike in cases

The Health Ministry adopted the WHO recommendations.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Israel is cutting the time corona patients need to stay in isolation to 10 days. It had been two weeks. In doing so, it’s adopting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations.

“The Health Ministry has adopted the recommendations of the World Health Organization and shortened the recovery and isolation periods in some cases,” the ministry said in a statement Wednesday morning.

The ministry made the move despite the rise in cases. Israel reported just under 2,000 cases on Tuesday, the highest single-day number.

WHO issued new recommendations on May 27. Its new criteria calls for 10 days for symptomatic patients (plus another three without symptoms). For asymptomatic cases, it is 10 days after a positive test for the virus.

Patients who have symptoms but don’t know exactly when they started will be considered recovered after 10 days from the time when they were diagnosed.

WHO, in explaining the reason for the change, said it had to do with the difficulty of repeated testing with limited supplies.

“In consultations with global expert networks and Member States, WHO has received feedback that applying the initial recommendation of two negative RT-PCR tests at least 24 hours apart, in light of limited laboratory supplies, equipment, and personnel in areas with intense transmission, has been extremely difficult, especially outside hospital settings,” WHO said.

“The updated criteria for discharge from isolation balances risks and benefits; however, no criteria that can be practically implemented are without risk,” it added.