Israel finds mistakes in corona lab tests, all results being rechecked

So far, eight cases have been found where people were given false positives or negatives for the coronavirus.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Health Ministry has found eight recent cases where the test results for coronavirus listed by health providers contradicted their findings, and told the providers to temporarily stop sending out new results until it could recheck all findings it has received thus far.

“Please freeze this morning all positive or negative notifications. We are investigating the possibility of a malfunction in reports sent from several laboratories yesterday,” the ministry told the health insurance providers.

The ministry stressed that it was only a very small number of false positives or negatives that came from only two of the 27 labs that have tested 45,000 Israelis so far for the virulent disease.

They are being cautious out of the fear that there are more who are ill and spreading the contagion unknowingly. Of less concern are those mistakenly in quarantine.

Some health providers also issued a recheck on results that had been sent out, Ynet reports, leading to stressful hours for those who had been assured that they were not ill.

Ronit from Tel Aviv told the daily on Saturday that the negative result the Clalit health fund had sent her had disappeared from her account. “When I saw that there had been mistakes, I got extremely scared and immediately called my whole family. I don’t understand how such a thing could happen…. I’m simply stunned, I don’t know what to do.”

On Sunday, Ynet reported that test results had reappeared several hours later in the Clalit and Maccabi sites, while Meuhedet said that its patients could see all their past tests.

In yet another mixup, Ynet also reported Saturday that a 14-year-old girl from Ramla received a message last week from the Health Ministry that she was corona victim #1898 – when she had never been tested. It took three days for the ministry to get back to the mother and confirm that apparently the lab had registered the wrong ID number as being positive for the disease.

However, she told the daily that she asked to get some kind of confirmation because she was still registered online as being ill, but “since Wednesday they haven’t answered my phone calls and nobody got back to me on Thursday, either.”