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24-Hours Before Delivering Baby, Virologist Develops India’s First Covid-19 Testing Kit

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India never had a dearth of heroes. Whenever the motherland has been in need, people from various quarters of society have stepped up to the challenge to rescue India. At a time when the country is locked in a battle against coronavirus, yet another Indian has responded to the country’s call and delivered.  

India's first coronavirus testing kit is here. She made it happen

India has been amongst one of the countries with the lowest testing rates in the world against coronavirus, with just 6.8 tests per million. However, that is about to change, thanks to the efforts of one virologist, who delivered on a working test kit, just hours before delivering her baby.

Minal Dakhave Bhosale, a virologist who led a team of 10, raced against time to create the Patho Detect testing kit for coronavirus. The kit, which would have taken three to four months for completion, was developed in six weeks, the BBC report said.

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Just 24 hours before she delivered a baby, Bhosale successfully presented the kit for evaluation to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and on the same day just an hour before she was taken to the hospital, the virologist submitted the proposal to the Indian FDA and the drugs control authority CDSCO seeking commercial approval, the report added.

“It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation,” she says, adding that her team “very hard” to make the project a success. “Our kit gives the diagnosis in two and a half hours while the imported testing kits take six-seven hours,” says Bhosale, Mylab’s research and development chief.

Mylabs Discovery Solutions of Pune became the first Indian firm to received full statutory approvals from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) to make and sell testing kits.

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It sent the first batch of 150 to diagnostic labs in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Bengaluru this week. The company which also makes testing kits for HIV and Hepatitis B and C and other diseases has said that it is capable of providing up to 100,000 Covid-19 testing kits per week from its facility at Lonavala and can produce up to 200,000 if required.

The kit can test 100 samples at a price of Rs 1,200 ($16; £13), which is almost a quarter of the Rs 4,500 which the Indian government pays to import Covid-19 testing kits from abroad.

Dr Gautam Wankhede, Mylab’s director for medical affairs, told BBC, “Our manufacturing unit is working through the weekend and the next batch will be sent out on Monday”.

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The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), under which NIV operates, said that Mylab was the only Indian firm to achieve 100% results. “If you carry out 10 tests on the same sample, all 10 results should be same,” said Ms Bhosale. “And we achieved that. Our kit was perfect.”

Coronavirus: 16 companies set to sell COVID-19 test kits in India

However, with the invention of the testing kit, the numbers of infections are expected to grow significantly. To solve this problem India recently allowed 50 private laboratories alongside the existing 118 government laboratories to test coronavirus patients and allowed private companies including MyLab and German firm Altona Diagnostics – to supply COVID-19 test kits.

Apart from the two firms, the Indian Government has also approved two South Korean firms; Seegene and SD Biosensor to supply novel coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic kits and overall, 16 companies to sell their test kits in the country.

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The approvals were granted to BioMednomics (USA), Getein Biotech (China), Sensing Self Ltd (Singapore), Hangzhou Biotest Biotech (China), AmonMed Biotechnology Co (China), Beijing Tigsun Diagnostics Co Ltd (China), Biomaxima (Poland), CTK Biotech (USA), Hunan Lituo Biotechnology Co (China), Vivacheck Lab (China) and Wondfo (China).

Thirteen kits have failed to get the approval of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and once these kits receive their commercial licence, India will be able to screen more number of patients effectively.

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Imran Khan Cites ‘Fourth Geneva Convention’; Says India Committing War Crimes In Kashmir

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Two Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers have been killed after three terrorists launched an attack in Soura near Pandach area of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.

The tensions in Kashmir even during the pandemic has been rising. A neighbourhood of 15 houses in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir was recently gutted by a calamitous fire during an exchange of fire between Indian security forces and militants.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan tweeted: 15 homes torched by Indian Occupation forces in Srinagar yesterday as 900k security forces subject Kashmiris to brutal oppression. Modi’s Hindutva Supremacist Occupation Govt is committing war crimes in IOJK including changing the demography in violation of 4th Geneva Convention

The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, generally termed as the Fourth Geneva Convention is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions adopted in August of 1949. While the first three conventions dealt with combatants, the Fourth Geneva Convention was the first to deal with the security of civilians in a war zone.

Kashmir Encounter

The encounter broke out on 19 May in the densely-populated town of Srinagar. Officials disconnected the internet and telephone services, a strategy often adopted by Indian forces so ensure militant sympathisers are not given a chance to assemble at the encounter site and disrupt the operations.

The Indian government also disallowed handing over the bodies of the two killed militants to their families, a recently introduced tactic by New Delhi to prevent large-scale funerals and project the militants as heroes.

One of the killed militants, Junaid Sehrai, is the son of Kashmir’s prominent separatist leader Ashraf Sehrai. His party, Hurriyat Conference, promotes the merger of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan and seen by many as a stooge of Islamabad.

Sehrai led the funeral prayers for his son in absentia. Junaid was a member of the Pakistan-backed Hizbul Mujahideen, declared as a terrorist group by India as well as the US and the EU.

Terror Continues In Kashmir

Officials said Constable Rana Mondal and Constable Jiaul Haque were killed terror attack which took place a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Junaid Sehrai and another militant were killed in Srinagar encounter.

Police sources said the militants snatched the weapons of the two BSF men before escaping. Officials said the BSF soldiers were taken to the hospital where both were declared brought dead. “Our two troops lost their lives in the attack. They were on routine patrolling duty when the militants attacked them,” a BSF officer said.

A 12-year-old boy, who was injured after a house collapsed during the encounter succumbed to injuries. “The boy had burn injuries. He died this evening,” SMHS Hospital medical superintendent Dr Nazir Chowdhary said.

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2020 Could Be A Bloody Year For Kashmir, Bloodiest For India-Pakistan Relations

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A bloody year could await Kashmir as the Indian media reports the presence of more than 150 foreign-trained terrorists on a suicide mission in the tumultuous valley.  As per experts talking to EurAsian Times, India-Pakistan ties could further sink over cross border terrorism and ceasefire violations.  Analysis by Nitin J Ticku.

As Indian armed forces have already neutralized at least 36 terrorists since late March while also losing scores of security forces, HT reports the presence of around 150 foreign-trained terrorists predominantly affiliated to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Experts talking to HT states that “the presence of over 150 foreign terrorists in the Kashmir Valley that too in the first four months of the year is concerning. This number is likely to inflate with the opening of infiltration routes as over 250 mercenaries are waiting to be pushed-in across the border into India”.

In the recent Handwara encounter where two terrorists were killed in the North Kashmir district, one has been identified as a Pakistani terrorist LeT commander called Haider while the other was a local. In this year, of the 68 terrorists killed in J&K, 13 have been foreigners while 150 local militants have also been active in the region, as per the government records.

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Earlier in April, the Afghan forces had carried out a raid in the eastern part of the country and found a Taliban camp where 10 men were Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists being trained to fight in Jammu and Kashmir.

The newly formed group, The Resistance Front (TRF), which is also been known to house foreign terrorists is believed to a brainchild of Pakistan’s notorious spy agency –  ISI and is alleged to be Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) new name as Islamabad faces the challenge of being blacklisted by the FATF.

As per an unnamed police official – TRF is a new name given by Pakistan to LeT. “Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammad had religious undertone and Islamabad didn’t want that,” he said. “They wanted to unlink the Kashmir insurgency with Islam and make it appear indigenous. Hence they opted for ‘Resistance’.

It is reported that majority of these foreign terrorists are in regions like Pulwama, Anantnag, Kupwara, Shopian, Kulgam and Baramulla districts where they aim to attack Indian security forces in their camps and on their patrols.

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Media reports citing some intelligence agencies have also suggested the presence of a group of Pakistani terrorists out on suicide missions in the valley. “The intelligence agencies have information that over a dozen highly trained terrorists with specialized “Daur-e-Khaas training” have sneak-in into Kashmir from Leepa Valley while the entire world including India were busy fighting the pandemic.

The last time J&K suffered a suicide attack, it killed over 40 Indian soldiers and shocked the entire World. India retaliated by bombing terror hideouts in Balakot deep inside Pakistan.

A red alert has been raised in the entire Kashmir and surveillance has been tightened as Army, police and the paramilitary forces are deployed across the valley.

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Earlier as the EurAsian Times reported,  Riyaz Naikoo, the top most commander of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in a gunfight with the Indian security forces. Experts believe that this could trigger another spate of violence in the Valley just like the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular militant commander who was eliminated in 2016.

As EurAsian Times reported, Pakistan PM Imran Khan called the Indian statements of infiltration from Pakistan’s side of the Line of Control (LoC) as baseless and instead called it a “continuation of a dangerous agenda”.

Pakistan PM was reacting to comments from senior Indian officials, including the defence minister and the army chief, affirmed the presence of “terrorist launch-pads” in Pakistan under the patronage of the Army and ISI.

PM Khan tweeted: I have been warning the world about India’s continuing efforts to find a pretext for a false flag operation targeting Pakistan. Latest baseless allegations by India of “infiltration” across LoC are a continuation of this dangerous agenda.

In the second tweet, Khan said: The Indigenous Kashmiri resistance against Indian Occupation is a direct consequence of India’s oppression & brutalisation of Kashmiris. The fascist policies of the RSS-BJP combine are fraught with serious risks. The international community must act before India’s reckless moves jeopardise peace & security in South Asia.

Nitin J Ticku is a communications specialist with a deep interest in Education, Defence and Geopolitics. Nitin holds a double masters degree in Business Management and Journalism and is a frequent contributor to the EurAsian Times.

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Six Foreign Tourists Found Hiding In Indian Caves For Past 25 Days

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Six foreign citizens were found hiding in caves in the mountainous region of Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand for the past 25 days. The foreign nations had earlier checkout of their hotels after they went broke post the nationwide lockdown reports the Indian Express.

All the six visitors — four men and two women were discovered and put in quarantine. After a medical examination, all the six travelers did not show any symptom of coronavirus.

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As per reports, the officials in Laxmanjhula police station obtained information that some foreign tourists were staying in caves near the Ganga river. Post this information, the police carried out a joint search operation in the area and finally traced them.

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During the search operation, six people were found hiding in separate caves. They told the police that they were staying there since March 24. They also stated that they were earlier staying at a hotel from where they had to check out due to the shortage of money,” said Rajendra Singh Kathait, SHO, Laxmanjhula.

Of the six foreigners, two are from Ukraine and one each from Turkey, the US, France, and Nepal who had come to India in the last few months.

Via: Indian Express

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