With India emerging as the global hotspot, US President Joe Biden has said it has extended help “significantly” by sending material and machine parts, to help the country tackle the second wave of the pandemic.
As of now, six air shipments funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have been sent to India carrying health supplies, oxygen cylinders, N95 masks, and medicines.
“We are helping Brazil. We are helping India significantly. I spoke to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi. What he needs most is the material and the parts to be able to have his machines that can make the vaccine work. We’re sending him that,” Joe Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
On asked about the assistance offered to countries battling the crises, the President said, “We’re sending them oxygen. We are sending them a lot of the precursors. So we’re doing a lot for India.”
Earlier, the USAID at the behest of the Indian government had provided certain supplies to the Indian Red Cross, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki informed. “These are a lot of the components that the Indian government has expressed a vital need for. More flights are on the way, with total existence expected to exceed $100 million,” Jen Psaki said.
“In terms of oxygen support which is a big component of what they need right now, we are talking about oxygen cylinders, so the USAID delivered approximately 1,500 cylinders that will remain in India and can repeatedly be refilled at local supply centers with more planeloads to come,” she said.
So far, the USAID has delivered around 550 oxygen concentrators to obtain oxygen from ambient air besides large-scale units to support up to 20 patients each of an oxygen generation unit, she added.
The President said by July 4, around 10 percent of AstraZeneca vaccines will be sent to other countries by July 4 as per the PTI report.
It is important to note that the AstraZeneca vaccine has not been approved for use in the US even though the vaccine is administered globally.
“With regard to the AstraZeneca vaccine which we had, we have sent that vaccine to Canada and to Mexico and there are other countries that we’re talking to now. Matter of fact, I talked to a head of state today. I’m not prepared to announce who else we’ll be giving the vaccine to,” the US president said.
The press secretary told reporters that the Biden administration has directed its own order of AstraZeneca manufacturing supplies to India, allowing India to make over 20 million doses.
On Tuesday, India registered 3,57,229 more new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,99,25,604, said the Union health ministry.