During Pandemic period even after starting of process of unlock many sectors especially aviation,hotel ,travel and tourism are striving hard to regain their position.Under present circumstances a rapid COVID-19 testing technology being jointly developed by India and Israel should be ready for rollout in ‘a matter of days’ and it will be able to give test results in less than a minute by simply requiring an individual to blow into a tube, the Israeli envoy to India has said.
Ambassador Ron Malka also said Israel would want India to become the manufacturing hub for this rapid testing kit and the two countries will also collaborate on vaccine development for this dreaded disease with India taking a key role in production given its ‘very strong relative advantage in manufacturing’.
He said the work on the rapid COVID-19 testing project is in a very advanced stage.
I think it is a matter of days. What I hear from those involved in the process, it should not take more than 2-3 weeks to finalise that one reliable and accurate technology or a combination of more than one from amongst the four different technologies being analysed,’ Malka told PTI in an interview.
Indian and Israeli researchers have conducted trials after collecting a large number of samples in India for four different kinds of technologies, including a breath analyser and a voice test, that have the potential to detect COVID-19 rapidly.
There is also isothermal testing that enables identification of the novel coronavirus in a saliva sample and a test using poly-amino acids that seeks to isolate proteins related to Covid-19.
Malka said he has been told by the scientists that tens of technologies were tested to short-list these four technologies, which have now gone through different stages as per different demands to reach the last stage.
‘I am optimistic as all threshold conditions have already been passed,’ he said.
The envoy said this new rapid test is going to be a game-changer and is ‘a shining example of how fruitful collaboration in science and technology between Israel and India can be.’
‘It will be good news for the entire world. Until we manage to immunise the entire population, this joint operation, which we had named ‘open skies’, would literally open the skies in terms of international travel and other economic activities as this can be used at airports and other places by requiring a person just to blow into a tube and the result would be available in 30-40-50 seconds,’ he said.
In addition, this will be very cheap cost-wise as it gives the result locally without the logistical baggage of sending the sample to laboratories, Malka said.
Asked about collaboration on vaccine development, Malka said the two countries were always sharing research and technologies.
Noting that India has a ‘very strong relative advantage in manufacturing’, Malka said once the vaccine is ready, Israel is hopeful to get the advantage of that.
‘We are helping and supporting each other,’ he added.
‘We understand that once there is a reliable vaccine that is safe and effective, it will be mostly produced in India,’ Malka said.
Report- Vikas Chandra Agrawal