Coronavirus | India, Israel to work on rapid test

High-ranking R&D team to arrive soon

July 23, 2020 09:57 pm | Updated 09:59 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Ron Malka, Ambassador of Israel to India, at the inauguration of Astra Rafael Communication System (ARC), a Joint Venture between Astra Microwave Pvt Ltd. and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. of Israel, at the outskirts of Hyderabad on August 27, 2019.
Photo: G. Ramakrishna / The Hindu

Ron Malka, Ambassador of Israel to India, at the inauguration of Astra Rafael Communication System (ARC), a Joint Venture between Astra Microwave Pvt Ltd. and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. of Israel, at the outskirts of Hyderabad on August 27, 2019. Photo: G. Ramakrishna / The Hindu

In the next few weeks, a special flight from Israel will land in India with a team of high-ranking Israeli Defence Ministry research and development team to develop rapid testing for COVID-19 in under 30 seconds along with their Indian counterparts, Israel Embassy in India said on Thursday.

“The flight will also bring breakthrough emerging Israeli technologies for combating COVID-19, which have been donated by the Israeli Foreign Ministry (MFA) and private sector, meant to bolster India’s response to the outbreak. Finally, the plane will deliver mechanical ventilators which were given special permission by the Government of Israel for export to India,” the embassy said in a statement.

The Israeli delegation led by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development in the Ministry of Defense, will conduct a series of tests to determine the effectiveness of a number of rapid diagnostic solutions along with Indian scientists and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

“India and Israel’s military research and development cooperation is well known for its success. I have no doubt the same will be seen in the private sector joined by brilliant scientific minds from both countries to introduce a breakthrough in swift and simple testing procedures,” Israeli Ambassador in India Ron Malka said in a teleconference.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu have held three telephonic conversations, in which they discussed mutual assistance in dealing with the virus

The Israeli companies chosen by the MFA, MoD and Israel Defense Forces to be sent to India are potentially given unique access to one of the largest economies in the world to provide monitoring and treatment technologies while significantly reducing contact between the patients and medical staff, the statement said.

New technologies

The technologies to be tested in India include an artificial intelligence based online voice test and breathalyser test, isothermal testing and testing using polyamino acids. The voice test analyses recording of a human voice and aims to identify changes in the patient’s voice and/or deterioration in the condition of his/her respiratory system as part of system developed for detecting the virus using Terra-Hertz (THZ) waves.

Isothermal testing allows detection of the virus in a saliva sample with the help of a chemical reaction and produces a result within 30 minutes, while testing using Polyamino acids too detects virus proteins in a saliva sample in a few minutes.

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