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India and Israel Share Many Similarities, says US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley

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Nikki Haley, Wikimedia
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Washington, March 31, 2017: “I am the daughter of Indian parents, who reminded my brothers, my sister and me everyday how blessed we were to live in this country. The truth is, I have seen so many similarities between the Israeli culture and the Indian culture,” Nikki Haley said in her address to Americans Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference on Tuesday.

45-year-old Indian-origin US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had talked about the “many similarities” Indian and Israeli cultures share.

“We’re very close-knit. We love our families. We have a strong work ethic. We believe in professionalism and philanthropy, and giving back. So that’s all the good things. We’re aggressive. We’re stubborn. And we don’t back down from a fight,” Haley had said in response to a question, mentioned PTI.

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She has also talked about Iran, “It’s concerning. And the reason it’s concerning is because when the Iran deal took place, all it did was empower Iran, and it empowered Russia. And it emboldened Iran to feel like they could get away with more”.

“It is – you can put sanctions on a country. To take sanctions away, it’s very hard to go back and put sanctions back on. So what we have said is, we’re going to watch them like a hawk. We’re going to make sure that every single thing they do is watched, processed and dealt with,” she said.

On the matter of threats to peace and security, Haley had said the US will not take its number one democratic friend in the Middle East and beat up on them. “I think what you’re seeing is they’re all backing up a little bit. The Israel-bashing is not as loud. They didn’t know exactly what I meant outside of giving the speech, so we showed them. So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the UN, we said no and we had him booted out,” she had said.

– Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself
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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)