Rare Swiss-made Coronavirus Testing Device Completely Ruined on Its Way to Israel

The Roche Diagnostics Cobas series equipment, which is in great demand around the world, had to be returned to the manufacturer ■ Company representative in Israel says two more devices will be shipped in a week

Ronny Linder
Ronny Linder
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Swiss-made device that can diagnose up to 1,440 coronavirus test samples a day severely damaged on its way to Israel.
Swiss-made device that can diagnose up to 1,440 coronavirus test samples a day severely damaged on its way to Israel. Credit: Courtesy of Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital.
Ronny Linder
Ronny Linder

A highly sought-after, Swiss-made device that can diagnose up to 1,440 coronavirus test samples a day was severely damaged – either in flight or at Ben-Gurion International Airport – on its way to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

Some of the essential components on the device, which was manufactured by the diagnostics division of the Swiss firm Hoffmann-La Roche, were damaged beyond repair.

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The Roche Diagnostics Cobas series equipment, which is in great demand around the world, had to be returned to the manufacturer. But the company’s representative in Israel, Gamidor Diagnostics, has promised that replacement equipment, this time two devices, would be shipped to Israel within the next week. In the absence of the new equipment, which was apparently damaged when it was dropped, Ichilov is currently performing 500 coronavirus tests per day.

The only medical organization in Israel that has a similar device is Leumit Health Care Services, the smallest of the country’s four HMOs, which acquired it prior to the coronavirus pandemic and has since converted it for use in diagnosing COVID-19 patients. Roche Diagnostics says its Cobas series of equipment works 10 times as quickly as previous technology. The Series 6800 device that was ordered for Ichilov produces the results within hours and can generate up to 1,440 results per day, Roche said.

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