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India-Israel To Develop Rapid Test Kits, Co-operate On COVID-19 Vaccine Research

India-Israel To Develop Rapid Test Kits, Co-operate On COVID-19 Vaccine Research

Tuesday 24th November 2020

India and Israel have come together to develop rapid test kits and cooperate on vaccine research, the Ministry of External Affairs informed on Monday, November 23. The two countries also discussed the scope for high-tech collaboration in defense and cooperation to fight cybercrimes during the virtual 13th India-Israel Forum.

The ministry further said as the two countries face the threat of terrorists in an era where technology dominates, India-Israel projects can lead the way, not only bilaterally but in securing new markets globally. The shared vision hopes for regional peace and stability, economic growth, and engagement consistent with development priorities, collaboration in resources and technologies, and efforts for a reformed and responsible multilateral system. These form the important pillars of a future-oriented strategic engagement, the MEA statement further said.

According to the officials, the recent reconciliation between Arab states and Israel leading to the normalization of relations could improve prospects for a brighter future for the region. Meanwhile, India-Israel relations flourished after the former established full diplomatic relations in 2017 with the Middle East power. The establishment of a strategic partnership in 2017 was not a mere declaration of intent but an enumeration of the true and special character of the relations, the ministry said while adding that the two countries today are embarked on exploring newer prospects of co-operation.

India and Israel joined hands to develop rapid test kits and cooperate on vaccine research while collaborative technology projects will help in securing new markets globally, said Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV, OIA & Arab), Ministry of External Affairs.

"With the unprecedented disruption of Covid pandemic, India and Israel joined hands to develop rapid test kits and cooperated on vaccine research. The scope for high-tech collaboration has grown in defense, under Make in India, and cooperation to combat cybercrimes has become more important," said Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV, OIA & Arab), Ministry of External Affairs while addressing the 13th India-Israel Forum virtually.

"As we face the threat of terrorists. In an era where technology dominates, India-Israel projects can lead the way, not only bilaterally but in securing new markets globally," he added.

The MEA in an official statement said, ''our shared vision hopes for regional peace and stability, economic growth and engagement consistent with development priorities, collaboration in resources and technologies and efforts for a reformed and responsible multilateral system. These form the important pillars of a future-oriented strategic engagement."

"We call this region our extended neighborhood, an indication of cultural affection and policy priority. We saw unprecedented positive momentum in our ties with the countries in this region, in recent decades. We forged several strategic partnerships, including with Israel. The region is central to our economic and security interests and important for our role in a globalized world and reformed multilateralism," MEA official statement said.

"Our shared vision hopes for regional peace and stability, economic growth, and engagement consistent with development priorities, collaboration in resources and technologies, and efforts for a reformed and responsible multilateral system. These form the important pillars of a future-oriented strategic engagement," it added.

According to the officials, the recent rapprochement between Arab states and Israel leading to the normalization of relations. This could improve prospects for a brighter future for the region. The ideal future rests on the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the people. We have often said that direct negotiations between the parties can provide solutions for peaceful and secure co-existence between the two sides and also provide peace and prosperity to the citizens of two States, living side by side.

India-Israel relations are steeped in history, a chequered one, as we know. The steep trajectory over almost three decades, since we established full diplomatic relations, has been nothing less than extraordinary. The establishment of a strategic partnership in 2017 was not a mere declaration of intent but an enumeration of the true and special character of the relations. Today, we are embarked on exploring newer vistas of cooperation.

MEA said, that high technology, innovation, water, and energy have great potential and contemporary relevance.

“What they all have in common is the ability to detect the presence of the virus in the body quickly- usually within minutes. Developing diagnostic capabilities is a goal for the State of Israel and of many additional countries around the world. It is the most effective way to cut off ‘chains of infection’, prevent prolonged quarantine, and enable the reopening of the global economy,” the statement said.

“We hope that the research and development led by the DDR&D together with our excellent industries and academic institutions, will lead to a breakthrough that will change the way we diagnose and fight the virus while giving the boost necessary to ‘restart’ our economy,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi noted that this cooperation provides a unique opportunity for scientific and technological cooperation that can assist Israel, India, and the world in coping both with the pandemic and with the economic crisis that came with it.

The cooperation between Israel and India will enable the delegation and its Indian counterparts, to collect tens of thousands of samples in just ten days, and analyze them using computer systems based on artificial intelligence. This massive sampling will shorten processes and advance the approval of effective technology. All tests will be validated using PCR tests.

“The cooperation between India and Israel on COVID-19 is a good example of harnessing the scientific and technological strengths that the two countries have for the larger, common good. It will also further deepen our strategic ties, India’s Ambassador Sanjeev Singla told PTI.

The flight will be carrying some breakthrough emerging Israeli technologies for combatting COVID-19, which have been donated by the Israeli foreign ministry and the private sector, to bolster India’s response to the virus outbreak.

The plane will also deliver mechanical ventilators which were given special permission by Israel for export to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu have held three telephonic conversations since the outbreak of the pandemic and promised mutual assistance in dealing with the virus, committing to joint technological and scientific research between the countries.

The Israeli media widely reported that Modi lifted a ban on the export of Hydroxychloroquine at Netanyahu’s request.

“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 India,” a press statement from the ministry of defense 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 MFA, MOD, and Israel Defence Forces 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 the patients and the medical staff,” it 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.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge, so it is only right that the solution is global scientific cooperation between countries. India and Israel’s military R&D cooperation is well known for its success. 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, said Prof. Nati Keller, an infectious diseases specialist from Sheba Medical Center, who is leading the medical side of the delegation.

 

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