U.S. to provide medical support as India battles COVID-19 spike

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

Read Also: India’s coronavirus cases hit record peak, nations pledge aid

The U.S. President Joe Biden said this  on Sunday, “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need.

National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said U.S. officials were “working around the clock” to deploy available resources and supplies to help India manufacture the Covishield vaccine and tend to the millions of Indians who are sick and dying. The United States will also send therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits and ventilators.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all citizens to be vaccinated and exercise caution, as the country set a global record for new COVID-19 infections in a single day.

U.S. Representative Ro Khanna, Democratic vice-chair of the Congressional India Caucus, welcomed the announcement but urged Biden to go further and give India the United States’ unused COVID-19 vaccines doses from AstraZeneca Plc.

The United States said it would send a team of experts to work with India from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Agency for International Development.

In addition to the immediate aid, the U.S. Development Finance Corporation will fund a substantial expansion of manufacturing capability for Indian vaccine maker Biological E Ltd, or BioE, enabling the company to produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.

MTO/Reuters

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