Commonwealth, US extend aid to COVID infected Indiatext_fields
New Delhi: As India is struggling with an unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections, the Commonwealth and the United States of America are extending their support to the country along with others in the fight against the deadly disease.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland on Thursday assured to provide urgent medical help to the government and its people as the country battles a new wave of COVID-19 cases. Scotland expressed gratitude to India for the support provided by the nation to small and vulnerable member countries earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We are immensely grateful for the support provided by the government of India to small and vulnerable member countries of the Commonwealth earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, it was an immensely generous and practical response to this global emergency," Scotland said in a statement to IANS.
"As such we stand ready to assist in any way that we can and have called a Commonwealth Secretariat rapid response meeting to consider what practical support the Commonwealth Secretariat and our member countries might offer together to be able to help you with your heavy burden," she added.
Meanwhile, The United States is sending supplies worth more than $100 million to India to help it fight a surge of COVID-19 cases, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
The supplies, which will begin arriving on Thursday and continue into next week, include 1,000 oxygen cylinders, 15 million N95 masks and 1 million rapid diagnostic tests, the statement said.
The United States also has redirected its own order of AstraZeneca manufacturing supplies to India, which will allow it to make over 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the White House.
In addition, on this first flight, USAID is sending 960,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests to identify infections early to help prevent the community spread of COVID-19, and 100,000 N95 masks to protect India's frontline healthcare heroes, it added.
India's tally of coronavirus cases reached 18,376,524 on Thursday morning. Its COVID-19 tally is the second-highest globally, after that of the US, with Brazil in third. In terms of the death toll, India is fourth in the world, behind the US, Brazil and Mexico.
(with inputs from IANS)