Israel said on Thursday (July 23) it was sending a delegation of researchers to India to examine new rapid COVID-19 tests on thousands of Indian patients in cooperation with Indian authorities.
The 20-member delegation, headed by the defense ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development, is expected to depart in the coming weeks, according to a statement issued by the foreign ministry.
The tests are aimed at completing the final testing stages of four Corona virus diagnostic technologies, including a voice test, breathalyzer test based on terahertz waves, isothermal test, and polyamino acids test.
“In order to complete the study and prove its effectiveness, the (technologies) must be tested on a wide range of verified patients,” the foreign ministry said in the statement, adding it would be difficult to recruit a large number of patients in Israel in a short time.
Israel hopes to collect “tens of thousands” of samples within 10 days and transfer them for analysis.
The professional Indian staff include some 100 persons that will help in carrying out the research, in addition to “dozens” of workers who will build the testing compounds in which the experiments will be held, according to the foreign ministry.
Israel and India have agreed to cooperate on Corona virus research already in the early stages of the pandemic, it added.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz expressed hope that the research efforts “will bring a breakthrough that will change the way we diagnose the virus and fight it.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said the cooperation with India “sends a message of friendship and solidarity and is an opportunity for unique scientific and technological cooperation that can help Israel, India and the whole world.”
Israel is struggling with a rapid resurgence of the Corona virus, which emerged after the country started reopening schools and businesses in May.
On Wednesday, the Israeli health ministry reported 2,043 new Corona virus cases, the biggest daily increase since February, raising the tally in the country to 56,085.