- The agency is currently involved in covert missions abroad to obtain the necessary supplies to fight the virus.
- The agency is working alongside the Health Ministry.
- Mossad director, Yossi Cohen, says Iran is under-reporting coronavirus figures.
The Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad, has flown a sizeable consignment of coronavirus equipment into the country. It includes Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) kits, which will boost testing capacity. Israeli healthcare facilities will now be able to carry out over 1,000 coronavirus tests daily.
The agency is currently involved in covert missions abroad to obtain the necessary supplies to fight the virus. An undercover agent recently admitted that the organization was engaged in “a bit of theft” to help the country overcome shortages during these dire times
The most recent Mossad equipment delivery also comprises of ventilators, sanitizing-gel production flasks, South Korean reagents, and HIV experimental drugs from India that are being used in the treatment of COVID-19. The Mossad intelligence agency has already procured dozens of vital drugs and anesthetics that are needed by the Health Ministry.
The agency is tasked with obtaining critical medical equipment from foreign countries to help overcome the coronavirus crisis. Its director, Yossi Cohen, is currently heading a dedicated command center that is working in conjunction with the Health Ministry to obtain badly-needed supplies. Mossad has so far delivered over ten million medical masks, which include N95 masks, and a considerable number of ventilators.
In March, the agency successfully delivered over 100,000 testing kits. They, however, lacked a critical component that prevented them from working. Manufacture of the missing patented liquid began a few day later following research by Israeli scientists, thereby completing the sets.
During a press briefing on Thursday, Cohen told health officials that the coronavirus epidemic was more severe than reported in some Arab countries. They include Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.
“In Lebanon, Iraq and Syria there is a high morbidity and they’re lying. The number of infected and dead that the Iranians are reporting is also not true. The numbers I’m familiar with are much higher.”
Iran, in particular, was recently accused of under-reporting the number of coronavirus infections and deaths. Current official statistics indicate that it has just over 88,000 infections and 5,574 deaths so far. The Iranian Parliament Research Center has reported that the actual number of deaths is at least double that stated by the government. Some estimates indicate that number of infections is at least 10 times higher than publicly proclaimed.
Delving briefly into a few Middle East statistics, Iraq currently has 1,708 confirmed infection cases and 86 deaths. Lebanon has 696 reported cases and 22 fatalities. Its next-door neighbor, Syria, has 42 confirmed infections and three deaths.
Mossad Director Yossi Cohen has highlighted that there are challenges in obtaining badly need medical supplies because many countries have closed their borders. “Despite all our connections the doors were closed in most countries of the world and therefore we brought the production lines to Israel,” he said.
Initially, there was a looming shortage of ventilators to treat critically ill patients in hospitals. The number of sufferers requiring ventilation has, however, dropped, which is good news. Israeli health officials, however, fear that a second wave of infections is imminent and that it could overwhelm the country’s healthcare system.