Washington, DC – There was a silver lining for the vast majority of Indians, with COVID-19 cases surging exponentially in the country, as the White House noted, “The US assured to help India in its war with coronavirus.”
The assurance came after the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had a phone conversation on Sunday (April 25) with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, according to a statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne.
Expressing “deep sympathy” for the people of India following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Sullivan affirmed “America’s solidarity with India, the two countries with the greatest number of COVID-19 cases in the world.”
“Building on the seven-decade health partnership between the United States and India —including battles against smallpox, polio, and HIV — they resolved that India and the United States will continue to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic together,” the NSC stated.
Mentioning India’s assistance when US “hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need.”
To this end, the United States is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies.
Addressing the request from India about raw materials, the statement noted: “The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India.”
“The U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is funding a substantial expansion of manufacturing capability for BioE, the vaccine manufacturer in India, enabling BioE to ramp up to produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022,” the NSC statement promised.
Moreover, as a helpline to treat COVID-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the US has “identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India.”
To help India tide over oxygen scarcity, the US “ is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis.”
Additionally, the United States is deploying an expert team of public health advisors from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and USAID to work in close collaboration with the US Embassy, India’s health ministries, and India’s Epidemic Intelligence Service staff.
USAID, another administration aid agency, is set to “quickly work with CDC to support and fast-track the mobilization of emergency resources available to India through the Global Fund.”
The White House statement concluded that the “two National Security Advisors agreed that the US and India “would stay in close touch in coming days.”
Earlier the issue hit the headlines as CEO Adar Poonawala of Indian vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) in a tweet called upon the US President Joe Biden to “lift the embargo” on raw materials supply to India.
India has supplied millions of vaccines to dozens of countries across the globe but is now facing vaccine shortage as a new wave of COVID hits in exponential proportions.