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COVID-19: Israeli Scientists To Arrive In India, Work On Breakthrough Rapid Diagnosis Tech

A special team of Israeli scientists will arrive in India this week to conduct final stages of testing of advanced technologies for rapid diagnosis of COVID-19

Israel

A special team of Israeli scientists will arrive in India this week to conduct the final stages of testing of advanced technologies for the rapid diagnosis of the new Coronavirus disease with their Indian counterparts.

The Israeli delegation, led by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), in the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), will conduct a series of tests to determine the effectiveness of a number of rapid diagnostic solutions. The team will work with the Indian Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, K Vijay Raghavan.

In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the country's Ambassador to India, Dr. Ron Malka will board the flight, which will carry cutting-edge equipment donated by the government and members of the private sector. The plane will deliver mechanical ventilators which were given special permission by Tel Aviv for export to India.

In addition to the DDR&D team, the delegation will also include engineers, an infectious diseases specialist and other professionals from the companies involved in the development of the various diagnostic technologies.

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What the teams will do?

Since the start of the pandemic, the DDR&D has tested dozens of diagnostic​ technologies. Some of them have matured and passed initial trials in Israel, however, in order to complete testing and prove their effectiveness, these must be tested on a wide range of patients.

Israeli and Indian teams will collect tens of thousands of samples in just ten days, and analyze them using computer systems based on artificial intelligence. All tests will be validated using the confirmatory RT PCR tests. For this purpose, the Centre has designated a team of around 100 professionals, as well as a team dedicated to the construction of testing sites that will be operated jointly by the Israeli and Indian delegations. 

The four tech systems that will be tested are: voice test, breathalyzer test based on terra-hertz waves, isothermal test, and polyamino acids test. What they all have in common is the ability to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in the body quickly – usually within minutes. Developing diagnostic capabilities is the most effective way to cut off 'chains of infection', prevent prolonged quarantine, and enable the reopening of the global economy.

'Message of friendship'

Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, PM Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu have held three telephonic conversations in which they promised mutual assistance in dealing with the pandemic and committed to joint technological and scientific research between the countries.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said, "I see great importance in the cooperation with India in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This operation conveys a message of friendship and solidarity with India. It also provides a unique opportunity for scientific and technological cooperation that can assist Israel, India, and the world in coping both with the pandemic and with the economic crisis that came with it." 

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