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India ranks 67 in fixed broadband speed in February: Ookla

India ranked 67th in terms of fixed broadband speeds and 109th for mobile internet speeds globally in February, internet testing and analysis platform Ookla said on Monday.

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India ranked 67th in terms of fixed broadband speeds and 109th for mobile internet speeds globally in February, internet testing and analysis platform Ookla said on Monday.

The company’s updated Speedtest Global Index revealed that in absolute terms, India’s performance in fixed broadband download speeds have gone up from average speeds of 18.82 mbps in November 2017 to 20.72 mbps in February 2018, marking significant improvement since last quarter.

India’s internet speed faster than ever.. Pixabay

“India has also shown significant improvement in terms of its fixed broadband download speed rank, where it is now placed 67th vis-a-vis 76th last year,” Ookla said in a statement.

“While India’s rank in terms of mobile internet download speed remains same at 109th but average download speeds have risen to 9.01 mbps in February from 8.80 mbps in November last year,” it said.

According to the statement, the February Speedtest Global Index showed Norway at pole position in the world for mobile internet with an average download speed of 62.07 Mbps.

“Singapore takes the top spot for fixed broadband with a 161.53 mbps average download,” it added. The Speedtest Global Index compares internet speed data from around the world monthly. It has 7,021 servers globally, out of which 439 speedtest servers are present in India, said the statement. IANS

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Cepheid to Establish Manufacturing Unit for TB Diagnostics in India

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment

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The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.
The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach. (IANS)

Expanding its footprint in India, US-based molecular diagnostics company Cepheid Inc on Thursday announced its plans to establish a manufacturing unit in the country to improve Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics.

Cepheid’s GeneXpert MTB/RIF test is a closed-cartridge-based system that is easy to operate by minimally trained staff and gives results in approximately two hours, speeding the conventional backlog that used to exist in traditional diagnostic methods.

The new manufacturing unit would produce MTB/RIF test cartridges, contribute to the government’s “Make in India” initiative and thus bringing the company’s global expertise in TB diagnostics to India, the company said in a statement.

As part of the plan, Cepheid also unveiled its latest portable, easy-to-use TB-testing system — the GeneXpert Edge — which is expected to be available in India later this year, the company said.

The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.

“Cepheid recognises the need for technological advancement and is committed to contributing significantly to India’s goal of TB eradication,” said Peter Farrell, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Operations, Cepheid.

Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB)
Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB).

“We are hopeful that GeneXpert Edge will help eliminate delays in TB diagnostics by providing definitive results within hours and facilitating fast and easy last-mile delivery even in the remote villages of India,” he added.

India has nearly one-fourth of the global TB patients and an estimated 4.8 lakh lives are lost every year due to delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment and there are above 2.5 million new cases of TB every year. The country aims to eradicate TB by 2025.

Approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010, more than 1,200 Cepheid’s GeneXpert Systems have been installed in the last two years at various Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) sites in the country and more than 2.5 million cartridges were supplied last year at various centres of Central TB Division (CTD).

Also Read: Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala

Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB) and rifampicin-resistance mutations, which are markers for MDR-TB strains in under two hours.

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment.

Xpert MTB/RIF tests also have excellent negative predictive value, which allows clinicians to manage TB-negative patients more effectively to prevent unnecessary and costly respiratory isolations. (IANS)