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US ‘doing a lot for India’ to tackle Covid crisis: Joe Biden | India News

NEW YORK: President Joe Biden has said the United States was “doing a lot for India” by sending oxygen and materials to make COVID-19 vaccines.
He said on Tuesday that he had spoken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and “what he needs the most is, he needs the material and the parts to be able to have his machines that can make the vaccine work. We send that to them.”
“We are sending them a lot of the precursors,” he added, referring to the ingredients needed to make the vaccines.
He said the United States was also sending oxygen, which is in short supply in the nation amid the resurgence of Covid-19.
“We are helping India in a significant way,” he said. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken acknowledged India’s help last year as the United States faced its deep crisis while speaking of the aid that the United States is now sending it.
“India came to our aid at the beginning of our hour of need when we were having real struggles with Covid-19, providing millions and millions, for example, of protective masks. We remember it, and we are determined to do whatever we can to help now.” he told the Financial Express according to the interview transcript provided by the state department.
He said: “What I have really seen is an amazing mobilization not only from the United States government, but also from our private sector, and also from Indian Americans. I was on a call a week ago with practically all the major directors. executives – it was a who’s who, everyone wanting to help. And the government, our government, is coordinating those efforts. So we’re doing everything we can. ”
Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who gave a summary of the assistance to India, said the US government was shipping ingredients to make 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine from supplies it had ordered.
These were ingredients that had been ordered on a priority basis invoking the Defense Production Law to supply companies contracted to manufacture vaccines for it.
The United States is unlikely to need the 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine it had contracted because it has adequate supplies of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
He said the total value of the Covid-19 aid will exceed $ 100 million.
Psaki said six air shipments funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have already been dispatched with oxygen and oxygen supplies, N95 masks, rapid diagnostic tests, drugs and components requested by the Indian government.
“At the request of the government of India, USAID provided these urgently needed supplies to the Indian Red Cross to ensure they reach those most in need as quickly as possible,” he said.
India is in great need of oxygen and USAID shipped about 1,500 oxygen cylinders that will remain in India and can be repeatedly refilled locally, 550 concentrators to obtain oxygen from ambient air and a large-scale unit to support up to 20 patients, he said.
He said 2.5 million N95 masks have been shipped and an additional 12.5 million are available if requested by the Indian government, he said.
One million rapid diagnostic tests and 20,000 courses of treatment of the extracted antiviral Remdesivir have also been sent, he said.

Times of India

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