Coronavirus ward (illustrative)
Coronavirus ward (illustrative) David Cohen/Flash90

The Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer has submitted to the Health Ministry a plan under which healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, will continue coming to hospitals even if they test positive for COVID-19 - so long as they do not experience symptoms, Yediot Aharonot reported.

The objective of the plan would be to prevent the closure of wards and a significant disruption to hospitals' operations, the site said.

The proposal, written by Professor Gili Regev, who heads the Center's unit for infectious diseases, notes that "the goal is to allow the preservation of the hospital's continued operations and to preserve manpower, while ensuring patients' safety."

"An asymptomatic employee who received his first positive test over 48 hours ago will be able to return to work, even if ten days of quarantine have not yet passed, if his antigen test turns out negative, or if his PCR is positive but with an especially low level of antibodies."

"A health employee who is symptomatic will be able to return to work if more than 24 hours have passed since he last had a fever of above 37.5 degrees Celsius, or if he 'feels good and is able to return to work,' and his antigen test is negative but his PCR test is positive and he has a high level of antibodies."

The proposal comes as the Health Ministry is becoming concerned about the increasing burden on the hospitals and health funds, which will increase if some of the medical staff are forced to quarantine.

Meanwhile, the Israel Medical Association has opposed the plan, with its chairman, Professor Zion Hagay, telling Yediot Aharonot, "We will not agree in any way to the possibility that doctors who are infected with coronavirus continue their work while endangering patients and medical staff. Re-examination is always praiseworthy, but lawlessness and pulling things out of a hat are not a work plan."

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