The author Abhijit Sinha talks about the pilot application of an Israeli technology SpectraLIT™ received by Ease Of Doing Business (EoDB) for COVID wave.
“I loudly opposed the 2nd COVID lockdown in 2021 as we could see the possible technical implementation of Testing, Tracing, Treatment vision of PM Modi. Condemning CM Arvind Kejriwal and Uddhav Thackeray for not preparing our political and commercial capital cities Delhi and Mumbai technically, after 1st lockdown to keep open for the sake of our national economy; pulled me into political firing range of questions that – Why don’t you bring lockdown alternative rather than expecting?”
Economies across the globe
Our Ease of Doing Business team of India comprehensively analysed advanced technologies used by Israel, New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore who controlled COVID spread after 1st lockdown and upgraded their Economy to use instant test technologies and successfully escaped 2nd wave lockdown.
“Indian market sustained 1st lockdown somehow in anticipation to recover and reclaim when reopened. Small and Medium enterprises pulled their socks up and evoked all their resources and assets in recovery. But unfortunately, the Indian Economy had to go through 2nd wave lockdown which slew their hope. We need to be prepared and find a way to protect lives and the economy from upcoming waves.
Global success in COVID Test technologies
New Zealand’s increased focus on tracing and massive testing, made it COVID free with no fresh cases reported for continuous 24 days in June 2020, lately, 2 cases were confirmed in a month with a total of 22 deaths due to COVID in the country till the date. Singapore based technology, claiming results within 60 seconds by detecting Volatile Organic Compounds [VOCs] in exhaled breath piloted its clinical trial run in Dubai and Singapore this March got provisional approval from the National University of Singapore. While Israel becomes the 1st COVID free country in April 2021 with a massive rollout of instant tests to corner COVID.
Recently after setting test protocols at international airport disembarkation New Zealand approved quarantine-free flights with Australia. While many other airports in Europe upgrading to contactless instant on-arrival tests after a successful pilot of Israeli SpectraLIT™ tech conducted at 2 European airports from portable Photo-Spectrometry devices; with CE-IVD approval for test in the European Union under the European Medical Devices Directive.
3rd wave fencing in India
Being Indian emerging tech prototyping agency Advance Services for Social and Administrative Reforms (ASSAR), we invited global applications from healthcare entities in July 2021 to provide such Technology, Products & Services (TPS) for instant COVID19 test within 60 Second for commercial pilots under Ease of Doing Business program.
“Are we supposed to impose a complete Lockdown in 3rd wave again? As COVID19 will have 3rd / 4th / 5th waves, and WHO has already warned that ‘World is in Early Stages of Covid-19 Third Wave’ in short we will have to learn – ‘how to live with it? The socioeconomic demography of India with a huge population and little awareness about prevention may outbreak 3rd wave infections anytime in India. The only way left is to upgrade fundamental skeleton of transport, administrative and economic structures with instant testing to function and omit complete lockdown in anticipated waves.”
International Flights & COVID variants
Indian international flights are on standstill for the last 4 months, opening them will have a high risk to import globally mutated variants of the COVID19 virus. Previously imposed pandemic airport protocols on test-reports or holding passengers at the airport to wait for RT-PCR report has miserably failed. According to ICMR 86% of vaccinated Indians who got Covid-19 were infected by new Delta variant.
EoDB has received a pilot application of an Israeli technology SpectraLIT™ through their Indian partner MediCircle to deploy instant test facilities at Delhi and Mumbai airport dismemberments for foreign arrival with its AI-ML capability to test all global variants within 15 seconds. It parallelly upgrades its photo-spectrometry specimen database with tests getting conducted at 120 European airports and 20 countries through AI-ML globally.
Accuracy and Certification
Since it is a commercial Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) pilot not medical prototyping; only technology or products medically pre-approved by ICMR / US-FDA / CE-IVD and desired accuracy are considered to showcase their portability, cost-efficiency, prevention of data falsification & optimization with internet connectivity, high – throughput for testing in remote outbreaks. Screening of these critical applications for public usages is in corroboration with competent bodies till 25th July 2021. Thereafter, with the announcement of shortlisted Tech, Product, Services (TPS) providers; an allocation window shall be open for 2 weeks for state govt and private entities to pre-book these tests for organisations in their respective cities for logistic arrangements and deployment.
Single Window Clearance for deployment
Such promising technology is of huge significance to keep every operation open, that can afford these frequent on-spot instant tests and allow people to work, perform and be productive for their organization and overall national economy. This pilot is being conducted under EoDB to obtain speedy screening of compliances and single-window clearance of deployment permissions on international airports and at 12 more states. This 30day initial pilot rollout is already attracting high demand from state and corporate bodies like hotels, sports- utilities, hospitals and R&D labs.
We are now bringing an alternative of complete lockdown under EoDB for capital cities of Delhi and Mumbai (Maharashtra) before 3rd wave; as well as we are in conversation with the state government of Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to provide instant test facilities for their domestic airports and indispensable operations of governance and economy, from both public and private sectors. We truly believe in ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’ and in addition to Delhi and Mumbai international airports we have also invited Arvind Kejriwal and Uddhav Thackeray led governments to timely nominate other venues or organisations which they wish to keep operational in their state during 3rd wave with these instant on-spot test facilities.
(The author Abhijeet Sinha is a Technocrat, currently, National Program Director of Ease of Doing Business – ASSAR, starting from Modi’s Citizen from Accountable Governance (CAG) participated Pilots like IMNCI, NPR, UIDAI also Project Director of E-Highway Pilot National Highway for Electric Vehicles (Jaipur – Delhi – Agra) prototype with Govt of India.)