U.S. races to India for assist as COVID-19 circumstances skyrocket

The United States is deeply concerned about a massive spike in coronavirus cases in India and will provide additional support to the Indian government and healthcare workers, a White House spokeswoman said Saturday.

“We are having active, high-level discussions and plan to quickly provide additional support to the Indian government and Indian health workers in the fight against this recent major outbreak. We will have more to share very soon,” the spokeswoman told Reuters via e-mail. Mail .

Washington is under increasing pressure to do more to help India, the world’s largest democracy and strategic ally in President Joe Biden’s efforts to counter China as it grapples with a record spike in coronavirus infections.

The Indian government has used military planes and trains to bring much-needed oxygen to Delhi from other parts of the country and abroad, including Singapore.

The number of cases across the country jumped a record daily increase of 349,691 on Sunday, bringing the total to 16.96 million cases, including 192,311 deaths, the health ministry said.

The country of 1.3 billion is facing a humanitarian disaster, warned Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health, in a comment published in the Washington Post on Saturday.

He said about 2,000 people died every day, but most experts estimated the real number was five to ten times that number.

Officials from both countries are engaged at various levels to ensure “a low supply of inputs and components from US companies for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines in India,” a spokesman for the Indian embassy in Washington told Reuters.

He said it was important to work together to find ways to overcome bottlenecks in the medical supply chain and accelerate ongoing vaccination efforts.

Jha urged Washington to send India oxygen, excess test kits, and quality personal protective equipment, including face masks, and medication to treat COVID-19 patients, including sedatives and remdesivir.

Jha also urged the Biden government to share excess vaccines with India and other troubled countries, noting that the United States had an estimated 30 million unused doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine used elsewhere but by the US – Regulatory authorities has not been approved.

Washington should also lift export controls on raw materials introduced under the Defense Production Act and a related export embargo in February, Jha wrote.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday US and Indian officials were working to find ways to deal with the crisis but did not provide a schedule for assistance.

She said the United States has already provided India with around $ 1.4 billion in health aid, emergency relief, pandemic training for Indian state and local health officials, and ventilators.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Comments are closed.