Trials begin for under-30 seconds COVID-19 tests by India, Israel jointly

Ambassador of Israel to India,  Ron Malka, visited the special testing site created at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Friday, July 31  to witness the ongoing trials since the last three days of the rapid COVID-19 testing which is being jointly developed in cooperation with DRDD Ministry of Defence Israel and DRDO, CSIR and PSA, India. The program is coordinated by Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Israel and India. He was accompanied by Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor from the Prime Minister of India’s office. RML hospital is one of the testing sites which has started trials of four different kinds of technologies that have the potential to detect coronavirus in as little as 30 seconds. These simple, non-invasive technologies include a voice test that uses artificial intelligence to identify changes in the patients’ 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 been conducted on a large sample of patients in India. 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.   Speaking on his visit to the testing site,  Ron Malka, Ambassador of Israel in India 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 till a vaccine is developed.” Professor K. Vijay Raghavan said: “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. The friendship and trust between our countries that have developed over the years have made the ongoing studies happen with speed and quality. I am sure that some of these will be successful and result in great value to our countries and to humanity.”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. Earlier this week, arriving on a special plane from Tel Aviv, the delegation also brought effective treatment and monitoring equipment that reduces exposure of healthcare workers to the virus, and  83 advance respirators which have otherwise still been banned for export in Israel but have been brought here with a special waiver for India. 

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