U.S. “working around the clock” to collect resources for India’s Covid surge

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A doctor tends to a patient with a breathing problem inside an ambulance waiting to enter a COVID-19 hospital for treatment, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 25, 2021. REUTERS/Amit Dave

United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in a phone call to his Indian counterpart April 25, 2021, said Washington was working overtime to collect resources to help India fight the coronavirus rampage in India.

Sullivan spoke to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, expressing deep sympathy for the people of India following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, according to a readout sent by the White House.

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.

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need,” the readout said.

“To this end, the United States is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies,” the White House said.

Washington has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India.

And to help treat COVID-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the United States has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India.

The United States also is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis, the readout said.

In line with that effort, 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.

Additionally, the United States is deploying an expert team of public health advisors from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to work in close collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, India’s health ministries, and India’s Epidemic Intelligence Service staff, the readout said.

The USAID will also quickly work with CDC to support and fast-track the mobilization of emergency resources available to India through the Global Fund.

The two National Security Advisors agreed that the U.S. and India would stay in close touch in coming days.

 

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