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Ministry of Health Launches App to Curb Spread of Coronavirus

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Israel’s Ministry of Health has announced the launch of a new phone app to curb the further spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS on 22 November, 2017

By: Benjamin Brown

Israel’s Ministry of Health has announced the launch of a new phone app to curb the further spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Named “HaMagen” (The Shield), the app tracks users’ locations to establish whether an individual has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The app utilizes information on users’ movement of the past 14 days, the incubation period for Coronavirus, while the Ministry of Health feeds epidemiological findings and data of confirmed patients into the system.

Developed in Israel, the application can be downloaded for all common mobile operating systems free of charge.

Modern technology is being used in a number of different ways to address the threat of the virus, with the Weizmann Insitute of Science developing a Big Data-based system of predicting where major Coronavirus outbreaks are likely to occur.

Over 1,200 Israelis have tested positive for Covid-19 in Israel. An 88-year-old Holocaust survivor was the first person to die, passing away on Saturday.

Israel on Saturday night introduced the final draft of stringent directives limiting public interactions to curb the spread of the virus. An emphasis was put on penalties for breaching the directives, which included fines and prison sentences.

Minister of Transportation Bezalel Smotrich and Deputy Minister of Finance Yitzchak Chen entered quarantine on Saturday night after being notified that they had separately met with a person who was diagnosed with Corona.

An employee at the Israeli Consulate General in New York was diagnosed on Saturday with Corona. He is at home in isolation in good condition. Israeli Consul General Danny Dayan went into quarantine following his exposure to the employee.

Several days ago, TPS reported that with the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) spreading globally and the world longing for medical solutions to the pandemic, all eyes are on labs in Europe, China, the US, and Israel, currently in the process of developing vaccines for Covid-19.

One medical innovation that may not be able to single-handedly end the pandemic but is expected to succeed in slowing the virus’ spread, is protective clothing, most notably masks, manufactured by Israeli medical company Sonovia.

Sonovia specializes in using anti-microbial textiles to prevent patients and employees at hospitals from contracting diseases. Dr. Jason Migdal, a researcher with Sonovia, told TPS that there were “dramatic reductions in hospital infections when our products were used.”

“Cutting-edge nano-coating technology” originally developed at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan allows the company to use sound waves to place chemicals and materials such as copper into textiles, thus ensuring long-term protection against bacteria.

Dr. Migdal says he and his team are “leading the revolution in this field,” with the materials produced by Sonovia “stronger than antibiotics and even working against bacteria resistant to antibiotics.”

As the number of Covid-19 cases grew, research showed that certain materials, including the copper nano-particles used in Sonovia’s materials, were able to kill off the virus.

            (TPS)

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