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Ordered to quarantine due to contact via WhatsApp?

A few days ago, “A”, who works in a government office, received an official notice that she was required to enter quarantine. The notice was apparently based on contact tracing using data from her cell phone.

“A” appealed several times to the Health Ministry, protesting that she had not been in contact with anyone confirmed as a carrier of coronavirus, but her appeals were rejected.

She decided to seek the advice of a friend who is involved in the ISA’s contact tracing program, and he discovered that her order to enter quarantine had been issued in error, most likely because rather than having been in physical contact with a confirmed coronavirus carrier, she had contacted that person via WhatsApp.

Apparently, “A’s” case is far from the first instance of such an error being made.

“I received an instruction to enter quarantine,” “A” told Arutz Sheva, “and I tried to remember where I’d been recently. I checked my journal and realized that there was no chance that I’d been in contact with anyone confirmed as a coronavirus carrier at the time they mentioned. So I submitted an appeal to the Health Ministry – but they rejected it. I submitted another appeal – and they rejected that too. I tried telling them that I hadn’t been near anyone confirmed as a virus carrier, but there was just no one to talk to.”

She then related that, “By chance, I happened to be talking to someone who works with the ISA’s contact tracing program. I told him that I’d had to enter home isolation and that I thought that the contact tracing had made a mistake in my case. He asked me if I had perhaps chatted with this person on WhatsApp on the date and at the time specified, and when I checked, I realized that he was right – that was what had happened. But we never met up.”

Just last week, the head of the epidemiological department in the Health Ministry, Liora Valinsky, resigned, and one of the reasons she cited for her decision to leave her position was the chaos reigning in the government’s contact tracing program – not the program run by the ISA, but rather the Health Ministry’s own tracing program, now transferred to the authority of the Home Front Command.

“Thousands of people have been ordered to enter quarantine when they should not have been required to do so,” she wrote. “Worse of all is the confusion that prevails everywhere.”

Source: Yehonatan Gottlieb – Arutz Sheva