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India-Israel join hands to develop Covid Testing Kit

Trials begin for under-30 seconds COVID-19 tests in Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohiya Hospital. A special testing site has been created at the Hospital and trials of the rapid COVID-19 testing kits are ongoing for the last three days. These trials are part of medical research collaboration between India and Israel.

The medical research team from Israel has arrived last week to work with scientists from DRDO and they aim to bring down the time for testing COVID to few seconds only. Israeli ambassador Ron Malka and Principal scientific advisor Vijay Raghvan both reached to Ram Manohar Lohiya Hospital to witness the first trials of the testing which is being jointly developed in cooperation with DRDD Ministry of Defence Israel and DRDO, CSIR and PSA, India.

RML hospital is one of the testing sites which have started trials of four different kinds of technologies that have the potential to detect coronavirus in as less as 30 seconds. These simple, non-invasive technologies include a voice test that uses artificial intelligence to identify changes in the patient’s voice, a breath analyser test which requires the patient to blow into a tube and detects the virus using terra-hertz waves, isothermal testing that enables identification of the virus in a saliva sample, and a test using Polyamino acids that seeks to isolate proteins related to COVID-19. These trials are being conducted on a large sample of patients in India.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Malka said, “If even one of these tests is successful in detecting the virus in as less as half a minute, it will be the biggest breakthrough in COVID-19 identification that the world has been waiting for. By combining advanced Israeli and Indian technology and India’s manufacturing prowess we can find a way to resume our lives and exist alongside the virus until a vaccine is developed.”

As per the agreements between India and Israel, If the results validate the effectiveness of the tests, they would be mass manufactured in India and marketed to the world by Israel and India jointly.

Talking About the India Israel Collaboration, Principal Scientific Advisor Professor K. Vijay Raghavan said that the translation of cutting-edge basic science and technology to society is seen happening in this deep collaboration. “What was yesterday considered esoteric research is now being tested for implementation. Such robust tests are the touchstone of science. Israel and India share collaborations in every area of science” he added.

The finality of the testing kits will be ascertained by the end of August. These trials are a part of a multi-pronged mission visiting India from Israel to cooperate on COVID-19 research and development, further cementing the strategic relationship between the two nations.

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