20:50 GMT11 April 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India and Israel earlier decided to collaborate in developing advanced rapid test kits for COVID-19 after a series of telephone conversations between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu following the outbreak of the global pandemic.

    A group of Israeli scientists arrived in New Delhi on Monday via a special plane to conduct a series of final stage tests for a rapid COVID-19 test kit, jointly being developed with scientists from the Indian Defence labs.

    Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka, who accompanied the scientists said, the rapid test for COVID-19 would give the results within seconds.

    "It will be a great game changer the way tests are being done for COVID-19", said Malka.

    He said the special plane also carried several new machines used in the treatment of COVID-19, and Israel would share the technology with India.

    ​"New tech is developed rigorously, tested rigorously, and the bar is high", said Professor K. Vijaya Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to India's federal government.

    The ​Israeli Embassy in New Delhi tweeted last week that both countries would engage in unprecedented anti-COVID-19 cooperation in the coming weeks to "merge Israeli technology with Indian development and production capabilities to allow a swift resumption of normal life alongside the virus".

    "In the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Israel, India gave Israel special authorisation to acquire medicine, masks, and protective gear. Now, Israel is proud to reciprocate this significant gesture & grant authorisation for purchasing of respirators to its great friend in the East", said the mission in New Delhi in another tweet.

    Israel's Directorate of Defence Research Development has tested a dozen diagnostic technologies since the outbreak of the pandemic. Some of them have matured and passed initial trials in Israel. These will now be used on a wide range of patients to prove their effectiveness, said the Israeli Ministry of Defence in a statement.

    Scientists from both countries will jointly test four technologies in India: a voice test, breathalyzer test based on terra-hertz waves, an isothermal test, and a polyamino acids test.

    India's total COVID-19 caseload is 1,435,453. The number of active cases stands at 485,114, while some 32,771 people have succumbed to the viral infection so far.


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