Washington DC: The raw material urgently required for the Indian manufacture of Covishield vaccine will immediately be made available to India, the White House said on Sunday local time.
Earlier in the day, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone today with 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 from The White House, Sullivan affirmed America’s solidarity with India, the two countries with the greatest number of COVID-19 cases in the world.
“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. To this end, the United States is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies. 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 White House said in a readout.
The White House further said that 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 White House readout said further.
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 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 mobilization of emergency resources available to India through the Global Fund.
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.
India recorded 3,49,691 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out last year. According to the Union Health Ministry, the country has recorded 2,767 new deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
Merkel’s show of support comes days after her criticism of the slowdown of vaccine exports from India against the backdrop of a record spike in coronavirus infections in the country.
Earlier today, the European Union (EU) has said it will 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.
“The EU together with its member states will do its utmost to support India in this difficult moment,” said Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan.
Janez Lenarcic, the European Emergency Response Coordinator today informed that the EU has activated its Civil Protection Mechanism to help India with the COVID-19 crisis.
More than 600 pieces of vital medical equipment will be sent to India to support the country in its fight against COVID-19, the British High Commission (BHC) announced on Sunday.
A BHC release informed that the assistance package, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, includes ventilators and oxygen concentrators from surplus stocks.