• Tue. Jun 28th, 2022

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US ‘urgently’ sends Covishield raw materials to help India tackle Covid surge

The United States has provided raw materials for COVID-19 vaccines, medical equipment and protective gear to help India respond to a massive surge in COVID-19 infections.

An official statement issued by Jake Sullivan read, “US has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators and PPE that will immediately be made available for India. US is also pursuing options to provide oxygen generation & related supplies on an urgent basis.”

Patients breath with the help of oxygen masks inside a banquet hall temporarily converted into a Covid-19 coronavirus ward in New Delhi on April 27, 2021. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP)

 

“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 U.S. Embassy, India’s health ministries, and India’s Epidemic Intelligence Service staff. USAID will also quickly work with CDC to support and fast-track the mobilisation of emergency resources available to India through the Global Fund,” it added.

The Biden administration had come under criticism from several quarters, including from members and supporters of the Democratic party, for not releasing surplus COVID-19 vaccines to India when the country is experiencing its worst-ever public health crisis.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the Biden administration to release doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to countries currently experiencing the deadly surge in COVID-19 cases.

“We are currently sitting on close to 40 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the US stockpile, a stockpile which we’re not using and which we’ve already opened to combat COVID-19 in Mexico and Canada,” he said.

“I respectfully but strongly call on the Biden administration to release millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses to countries hardest hit by the spread of COVID-19, including India, Argentina, and potentially others,” he added.

Meanwhile, India logged a record of 3,49,691 new coronavirus infections in a day on Sunday, taking its total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,69,60,172. The death toll increased to 1,92,311 with a record 2,767 daily new fatalities, according to the official data.

Earlier in the day, expressing solidarity with the people of India amid the record surge in COVID-19 cases, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that they are preparing a “mission to support” to aid India’s fight against the pandemic.

Earlier today, the European Union also pledged to do its utmost, to support India, amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country which has led to a shortage of hospital beds and medical-grade oxygen in some parts of the country.

More than 600 pieces of vital medical equipment have been sent to India to support the country in its fight against COVID-19. The assistance package, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, includes ventilators and oxygen concentrators from surplus stocks.

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