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Pak spy arrested in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, say Police Officials

Intelligence sources believe Nandu was helping to smuggle weapons and explosives into India

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Flags of India and Pakistan Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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JAISALMER, August 19, 2016: On Friday, a Pakistani national, believed to be a spy, has been arrested in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan following intelligence inputs, said police officials.

Police sources said maps and some other documents have been seized from Nandu Maharaj, who was also accused of bringing a sizeable quantity of RDX into India. Officials of the intelligence agencies, however, refused to officially confirm any detail.

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“We arrested Nandu on Thursday after we got inputs from intelligence agencies. He is from Pakistan and was in Jaisalmer for the last about 12-13 days,” a police official told IANS on the phone.

He said he is presently being interrogated in Jaisalmer, which is about 600 km from here.

“We will bring him to Jaipur by late Friday evening for further interrogation,” an official of the Rajasthan Police intelligence wing said.

The spy. source: ndtv
Nandu Maharaj, Image source: ndtv.com

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Nandu is said to have entered India board the Thar Express train, which runs between Karachi, in Sindh province of Pakistan, and Jodhpur, in the Rajasthan state of India.

Nandu holds a valid Pakistani passport and visa for India, the official said. (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)