Military Attaché to India Col. Asaf Meller was grounded this weekend after exposure to someone confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, leaving him unable to take part in the Israeli delegation to India next week.A senior, 20-person delegation from Israel’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDRD), Foreign Ministry and Health Ministry is set to depart for India on Sunday to develop new and rapid coronavirus tests in cooperation with their Indian counterparts, while treating Indian patients with coronavirus. However, a source involved in the mission told The Jerusalem Post the flight would have to be delayed because two of the IDF officers in the delegation were exposed to coronavirus.The Defense Ministry, which had not confirmed the precise date of the delegation’s departure for security reasons, denied that it had changed.However, the Defense Ministry confirmed that Meller, who was supposed to be a key member of the delegation, was exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient.They added that he tested negative, but still went into quarantine immediately, and will join the mission when he is allowed to leave.The Israeli team plans to bring new technologies, on which they had recently worked and tested to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to complete their research and to help India fight the novel coronavirus. Israeli and Indian scientific cooperation in this matter has been going on over several months.The Foreign Ministry also plans to send aid packages to India on the flight, including sanitizing and disinfection equipment to protect medical staff, along with ventilators, which received special authorization to be sent out of Israel.The delegation plans to test four different technologies for detecting coronavirus: sound waves, breathalyzers based on teraherz waves, isothermic identification and checking polyamino acids. The sound wave testing is based on findings that coronavirus patients’ voices change in the early stages of the illness.All of these methods are meant to allow for rapid coronavirus testing – in some cases in a matter of minutes – which would allow for the chain of infection to be cut earlier, prevent people from going into isolation unnecessarily and allow the world economy to be reopened more rapidly.The Israeli team needs a larger number of subjects on which to test the new technologies to check for coronavirus, and is expected to test them on tens of thousands of confirmed coronavirus patients during 10 days in India, an amount of patients that would be difficult to reach in Israel in a short time.India’s government has designated 100 professionals to support the Israeli effort and many dozens more to build testing zones to be operated by Indians and Israelis.The samples will be used for machine learning, to find commonalities between them and to shorten the process for authorizing the new testing technologies. The tests will be verified with PCR diagnostic panels, the commonly-used coronavirus test.