NEW DELHI: In an effort to jointly combat the novel coronavirus, Israel on Thursday said it will send to India on board a special flight a research team which has been working with the Indian side to develop a rapid testing kit for COVID-19 which can give a result within 30 seconds.
In the coming weeks, Israel's ministries of foreign affairs, defence and health will lead an unprecedented anti-COVID-19 cooperation operation between India and Israel, an Israel Embassy statement said.
A special planned flight from Tel Aviv to New Delhi is set to carry a high ranking Israeli defence ministry research and development team which has been working with India's chief scientist K VijayRaghavan and Defence Research and Development Organisation to develop rapid testing for COVID-19 in under 30 seconds, it said.
Merging Israeli technology with Indian development and production capabilities aims to allow a swift resumption of normal life alongside the virus, the Israeli Embassy said.
The flight will also bring breakthrough emerging Israeli technologies for combatting COVID-19, which have been donated by Israel's foreign ministry and private sector meant to bolster India's response to the outbreak.
"Finally, the plane will deliver mechanical ventilators which were given special permission by the Government of Israel for export to India," the statement said.
The past few years have cemented the strategic relations between India and Israel and have included two historical visits of the prime ministers in Israel and in India, the Embassy said.
Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have held three telephonic conversations in which they promised mutual assistance in dealing with the virus and committed to joint technological and scientific research between the countries, the statement said.
Noting that India is currently facing over one million COVID-19 positive cases, the Israeli side said India seeks to integrate advanced technologies in its hospitals as they prepare to treat massive waves of COVID-19 patients on an Indian scale.
The Israeli companies chosen by the three ministries to be sent to India are potentially given unique access to one of the largest economies in the world to provide monitoring and treatment technologies while significantly reducing contact between patients and medical staff, the statement said.
By opening the door to India's market with its development and production capabilities, these Israeli technologies can be mass produced at a lower cost and could in future be jointly exported to third countries, it said.
At the outbreak of COVID-19 in Israel, India gave Israel special authorization to acquire medicine, masks and protective gear, the embassy noted.
"Now, Israel is proud to reciprocate this significant gesture and grant authorisation for purchasing of respirators to its great friend in the east," it said.
The unique cooperation between India and Israel has allowed both countries to better deal with the COVID-19 threat and could potentially change the way "we live beside the virus", the Embassy said.
Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka said, I am proud to lead this Israeli delegation to India.
It is at times like this that our friendship is tested, and the State of Israel is happy to lend a helping hand to India in this complicated and difficult time.
" "I am confident that India and Israel can work together to find innovative and cheap solutions to help the world overcome this crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge, so it is only right that the solution be a global scientific cooperation between countries, Malka said.
India and Israel's military R&D cooperation is well known for its success, he added.
"I have no doubt the same will be seen in the private sector joined by brilliant scientific minds from both countries to introduce a breakthrough in swift and simple testing procedures.
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