Coronavirus | U.S. to send raw material for Covishield

Lula Sharp
April 26, 2021

Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has also held several talks with his USA counterpart Antony Blinken over the raw material of the vaccine.

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have assured India and its people of providing all assistance, including urgently sending necessary medical life-saving supplies and equipment, to help the country combat the deadly coronavirus crisis.

The death toll increased to 1,86,920 with a record 2,263 new fatalities.

THE UNITED STATES will "immediately" make supplies of vaccine-production material, as well as therapeutics, tests, ventilators and protective equipment available to India as the South Asian giant faces a Covid-19 surge, the White House said Sunday.

Others such as US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the Biden administration to release unused vaccines to India. He also said that we have a special responsibility towards the American people.

India is racing to boost vaccine production as the government is trying to expand the inoculation drive to cover the country's young population as well.

In recent months, the Narendra Modi government has sent Made-in-India vaccines to many countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East besides the United Kingdom and Canada under its "Vaccine Maitri" initiative.

The United Kingdom also joined in the efforts, with Prime Minister Johnson announcing the country was sending life-saving medical equipment to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators: "Vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this bad virus".

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter also told reporters that the U.S. continues to work closely with India to facilitate the movement of essential supplies and also address the bottlenecks of the supply chains.

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"We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19", Mr Johnson said in a statement. A US State Ministry spokesperson said, "We will give priority to our citizens before fulfilling India's request". "The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India's request for assistance via the EU civil protection mechanism".

This comes hours after German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the European Union announced plans to aid India against a pandemic that led to the storage of hospital beds and medical-grade oxygen in the country.

"We have chose to extend the lockdown by one week", Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

In the last month alone, daily cases in India have gone up eight times and deaths by 10 times.

Experts said India became complacent in the winter when new cases were running at about 10,000 a day and seemed to be under control.

The country of 1.3 billion people is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, warned in an op-ed published Saturday in the Washington Post.

"They need to get their people vaccinated because that's the only way we're going to turn that around", Fauci added.

"We are working closely with Indian officials at both political and experts' level to identify ways to help address the crisis", Psaki said. "The American people stand in solidarity with our friends in India during these hard times. The Quad partnership and team is providing assistance across governments", said Zients in the White House press briefing.

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