- Israel had a breakthrough in developing an antibody to COVID-19 infection
- Israel is at an advanced stage of developing an antibody
- Antibody can neutralise virus within the bodies of those ill: Mr Bennett
New Delhi: Israel’s ambassador to India, Ron Malka on Wednesday (May 6) said that his country is an advanced stage of a breakthrough on developing an antibody to the novel coronavirus and is awaiting results of clinical trials. “The processes are not finalised, we are at an advanced stage, Yes, of course, we will share it with the world,” Mr Malka told ANI. The ambassador was responding to a question on whether clinical trials had begun and whether Israel was ready to share the know-how with others.
He added that it was “too early to know if it is ready for mass development.”
Mr Malka also said that the coronavirus crisis has brought India and Israel closer with the two countries sharing their best practices in combating the COVID-19 and facilitating new processes.
On Monday (May 4), Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett announced a “significant breakthrough” by the country’s biological research institute in developing an antibody to COVID-19 infection.
I am proud of the Biological Institute staff who have made a major breakthrough, said Mr Bennett, adding that the antibody can neutralize the virus within the bodies of those ill.
However, Mr Bennett also said that further development can only be made after obtaining requisite approvals from regulatory agencies for therapeutic use in patients after sharing the results of human clinical trials.
Also, according to recent Israeli media reports, the country is set to undertake a coronavirus antibody blood test among people to find out how widely the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has spread across its population.
Meanwhile, talking on the importance of testing and tracing, Israel’s envoy to India said “Significantly we have been able to increase the pace in testing. We can test in-home, drive-through, without engaging in touching. All this was developed and initiated during the crisis.”
Also, we have the technology to trace and diagnose and put in quarantine. We need to balance privacy we are democracy…but we have the technology to help and save people’s lives. It is under the supervision of the judiciary, the envoy said.
Responding to concerns of privacy during contact tracing, the ambassador said: “If it is for a limited time people will give information because it will save lives. This technology traces people who are exposed, people understand that the data saves lives, and it is only for some time that this is needed.”
He also talked about various technological and innovative measures the country is employing to combat the virus: “We have offered 50 topics of cooperation in the sphere of COVID-19. For example, incubators start-ups can work on this. We are putting it as a top priority to enable prevention for anyone who wants to cooperate with equipment and devices to fight the virus. Israel has the technology to battle COVID-19 using UV light, 3-D printing of masks, anti-virus fabrics for clothes, and other needs.”
Israel Aerospace has teamed with Microsoft to make respirators – we have opened a source code, and everyone can produce it, he added.
Ambassador Malka said that Israel is cooperating with the world to defeat coronavirus by sharing data, artificial intelligence, and data analysis, which he said is one of his country’s advantages.
Previously, when the COVID-19 was still emerging, Israel was one of the first countries to employ full lockdown measures.
As more and more people are recovering in the country, it is starting to relax coronavirus restrictions while continuing “controlling supervising infection and working towards a cure.”
According to John Hopinks University, Israel has recorded 16,314 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 238 fatalities.