Washington: The United States on Sunday said that it will provide all the raw material required to scale up the production of the Covishield vaccine immediately. According to a readout from The White House, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan affirmed America’s solidarity with India, the two countries with the greatest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. 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.Also Read - Foreign Nations, EU Come Together To Help India In Battle Against COVID-19 Second Wave
“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.
Further, 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.
Germany, EU Express Solidarity With India
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.
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.
COVID Cases in India
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. The country has been reeling under an acute shortage of oxygen, hospital beds, and medicines needed for COVID-19 treatment, with health infrastructure on the brink of collapse.
(With agency inputs)