For the last seven decades, India and the United States of America have forged strong international cooperation, with mutual interests in global security, economic prosperity, and connectivity. While this partnership has long been built on the values of freedom, democratic principles, equal treatment of all citizens, human rights, and the rule of law – it has come to be strengthened in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the second wave of the pandemic creating devastating impacts in India, many nations across the world have pledged support for COVID-19 relief. At the end of April, the USA government announced that it would be sending supplies worth more than $100 mn to India to help combat India’s urgent health crisis. Further, with President Joe Biden’s administration overturning its own order of AstraZeneca manufacturing supplies to India – the possibilities of creating close to 20 million doses of vaccine in India emerge.
USA’s support to India includes both preventive and curative components. Of the preventive, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has sent 960,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests and 100,000 N95 masks to detect infection early and offer layers of protection to India’s frontline workers. Further, the curative support from the USA includes the following:
- Oxygen Support: The USA has provided an initial delivery of 1,100 cylinders to support hospitals, in close partnership with the Government of India.
- Oxygen Concentrators: 1700 oxygen concentrators to obtain oxygen from ambient air, to ensure flexibility in patient treatment.
- Oxygen Generation Units (PSA Systems): Multiple large-scale units to support up to 20 patients each, and additional mobile units will provide an ability to target specific shortages.
- Medicines: 20,000 treatment courses of the antiviral drug Remdesivir to support treatment of hospitalised patients.
- Public Health Assistance: US CDC experts will work hand-in-hand with India’s experts in the following areas: laboratory, surveillance and epidemiology, bioinformatics for genomic sequencing and modelling, infection prevention and control, vaccine rollout, and risk communication.
In extending such support to India during its crisis, the USA has bolstered its long-standing partnership with India. Such support exemplifies the belief that COVID-19 is a global challenge, one that cuts across national boundaries and reiterates the need for global partnerships.
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