The Defense Ministry said on Thursday it will send a research delegation to India to test out different diagnostic technologies able to determine almost immediately whether a person has been infected with coronavirus.
The ministry says a delegation led by its Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDRD) will travel to India in the coming weeks to experiment with different tests that use voice recordings, breathalyzers, isothermal technology and analysis of polyamino acids.
Experts say widespread testing is key to containing the pandemic, but delays in getting results make it difficult for many countries to detect new outbreaks in time to stop them. A test that gives instant results could help countries to more quickly reopen their economies.
DDRD chief Dani Gold said that the success of these technologies could mark a watershed moment in the global battle against coronavirus.
"We would be able to test 100,000-200,000 thousand people a day and get results within minutes so that people can go back to work if they are found to be clean," Gold said.
"We had begun our trials in Israel but want to accelerate the process, that is why we will be traveling to India where we expect to test 5,000 to 10,000 people daily. Testing masses of people is vital for our machine learning capabilities."
Gold could not say when are regulators expected to greenlight the technology, but the equipment's production, which is inexpensive, was already underway.
Over 100 Indian scientists will conduct trials at a state-run medical center that has treated Indian officials in the past.
The ministry said the delegation to India will also bring "cutting-edge equipment" donated by the government and the private sector, including ventilators as a sign of goodwill between the countries. The sale and export of such medical equipment are illegal.
India is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases and reported 45,720 confirmed new cases reported on Thursday. More than 1.24 million Indians have already been exposed to the virus and the country's death toll has exceeded 30,000.