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Operation Breathing Space: India-Israel

  • 01 Aug 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, an Israeli team arrived in India with a multi-pronged mission, codenamed Operation Breathing Space to work with Indian authorities on the Covid-19 response.

Key Points

  • Development of Test Kits:
  • Types of Tests:
    • The tests include an audio test, a breath test, thermal testing, and a polyamino test which.
      • In the audio test, a patient’s voice would be recorded and evaluated through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
      • In the breath test the patient will blow into a tube that will detect the virus using terra-hertz (high frequency) waves.
      • Thermal testing will enable identification of the virus in a saliva sample.
      • Polyamino acids test seeks to isolate proteins related to Covid-19.
  • India Specific Approach:
    • The kits will be jointly developed after trials on Indian Covid-19 patients. The tests have already been tried on a small sample of Israeli patients.
  • Other Assistance:
    • The Israeli team has brought robotic equipment, and wrist monitors that will help doctors and nurses monitor a patient without increasing risks of infection to themselves.
    • The team has also brought 83 advanced respirators to help patients with severe symptoms.
  • Benefits:
    • The success of rapid tests will help India’s overworked health-care professionals, who are experiencing fatigue. It will also help to address the public impatience over the Covid-19 test.
    • The quicker test will help authorities to take quicker prevention measures, which will reduce the spread of the virus among people.

Way Forward

  • As a vaccine or a cure is not yet visible and the country is gradually moving towards unlocking, it is time the testing should be made available on demand as close to home as possible.
  • With most cases turning out to be asymptomatic, wider and cheaper availability of testing must be a thrust area for the government now. Easy, early diagnosis of infections, even when asymptomatic, will go a long way in containment. The concerns regarding increased dependence on rapid antigen tests in some places must also be addressed.
  • Further, the proclivity shown by some States and cities to conceal data has been self defeating. There must be efforts to harvest accurate data, and with ease of availability. Normalcy, albeit a new one, could be reached faster with the right efforts.

Source: TH

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