US Will Urgently Send Vaccine Raw Materials To India; Saudi Arabia Sends 80 Metric Tonnes Oxygen
Amidst a wave of severe backlash received by the Biden administration for not coming forward and declining the release of surplus COVID-19 vaccines and raw materials to a ‘worst-ever hit health crisis’ enduring India, an extension of aid comes from the United States.
After speaking with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval over a phone call on April 25, the US counterpart Jake Sullivan confirmed that the United States will “urgently” provide India with sources of specific raw materials, for upscaling the production of Covishield vaccine, which is currently facing a critical level of shortage, as India adds 3.55 fresh infection cases on Sunday, clocking an active caseload of nearly 27 lakh.
The United States will extend further aid for treating COVID-19 patients and protecting front-line health workers in India by ‘immediately’ supplying therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Sullivan also informed pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies to India, on an urgent basis.
Spoke today with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval about the spike in COVID cases in India and we agreed to stay in close touch in the coming days. The United States stands in solidarity with the people of India and we are deploying more supplies and resources: pic.twitter.com/yDM7v2J7OA— Jake Sullivan (@JakeSullivan46) April 25, 2021
US Steps Up to Provide Aid
After being publicly criticized by not just social media netizens but also members and supporters of the Democratic party, for not releasing surplus Covid-19 vaccines and raw materials for vaccine production in India, at a time when the country is undergoing its worst-hit public health crisis, the Biden administration has finally announced to release vaccine raw materials to the nation.
In addition to providing India with raw materials for manufacturing the Covishield vaccine, the US has ‘identified’ supplies of therapeutics, diagnostic kits, PPE kits and ventilators.
As per the White House statement, the US is also looking for avenues to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis.
Showing its commitment to helping India in a crisis of the current sort, President Biden tweeted,
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. https://t.co/SzWRj0eP3y— President Biden (@POTUS) April 25, 2021
He stated that just as India helped the US during early pandemic times, when it’s hospitals were strained, the US will help India in its time of need too.
Different Countries Come to India’s Aid Prior to the US
On Saturday, an Indian-American US Congressman, a Democrat from Illinois appealed to the Biden’s administration to release AstraZeneca vaccine doses to countries hardest-hit by Covid-19, including India.
We need to release our stockpile of unused AstraZeneca vaccines now. In India alone, almost 350,000 COVID-19 cases were reported today. When people in India and elsewhere desperately need help, we can’t let vaccines sit in a warehouse, we need to get them where they’ll save lives pic.twitter.com/D3Ygtc8lzh— Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) April 24, 2021
On Friday, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla urged the POTUS to lift the embargo on export of raw materials needed for the production of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine in India.
Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up. Your administration has the details. ??— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) April 16, 2021
On April 25, the United Kingdom announced helping India at such times, by sending medical equipment like ventilators and oxygen concentrators to the country.
NDTV reports that the first shipment is expected to reach Delhi early Tuesday, with more scheduled for the coming week. In total, nine containers carrying over 600 pieces – including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators – will be sent.
Late yesterday, Saudi Arabia was reported to ship 80 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen to India, given the meteoric rise in the number of cases in the country. The supply shipment is being undertaken in cooperation with the Adani group and Linde company.
Embassy of India is proud to partner with Adani group and M/s Linde in shipping much needed 80MT liquid oxygen to India. Our hearfelt thanks to Ministry of Health Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all their help, support and cooperation.@MEAIndia @drausaf @SaudiMOH @HMOIndia pic.twitter.com/6j8NuGwtCB— India in Saudi Arabia (@IndianEmbRiyadh) April 24, 2021
Hours prior to UK’s announcement, the European Union also ensured to help India’s in its fight against the deadly Covid-19 virus.
Upon request for assistance by #India, we have activated the #EU Civil Protection Mechanism.— Janez Lenar?i? (@JanezLenarcic) April 25, 2021
The ?? will do its utmost to mobilise assistance to support people of ??.
Our #ERCC is already coordinating EU MS that are ready to provide urgently needed #oxygen & medicine rapidly.