Antigen test (illustrative)
Antigen test (illustrative)iStock

Magen David Adom's (MDA) rapid testing stations until recently used tests which are significantly less effective at testing for Omicron than other tests, Channel 12 News reported Sunday evening.

According to the report, an examination by the Central Lab for Viruses showed that of six rapid tests marketed in Israel, two of them were less effective at detecting the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The report also noted that until about three days ago, the MDA stations for supervised antigen testing used one of the less-effective tests. Those stations did cease using the less-effective tests, but the tests are still marketed to the Israeli public in the various pharmacies.

Until now, the Health Ministry chose not to publish the report publicly. As a result, many people used the less-effective tests without knowing that they were less sensitive than other tests. However, on Sunday night the Health Ministry held a discussion on the findings, attended by senior Ministry officials.

On Saturday, Hadashot Sof Hashavua published a Defense Ministry report showing that antigen tests miss nearly half of positive coronavirus cases. According to that report, the rate of those testing negative on antigen tests despite testing positive on PCR tests was 47%. At the same time, the percentage of those testing positive on antigen tests but negative on PCR tests was 37%.