US extends helping hands to tackle COVID surge in Indiatext_fields
NEW YORK: White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki on Friday reported that Joe Biden's administration is "working closely" with Indian officials to find ways to help the country facing its worst Covid-19 surge.
"We are working closely with Indian officials at both political and experts' level to identify ways to help address the crisis," she said.
She also clarified that there are ongoing discussions happening at many ranges of levels on how to help each other get through these tough periods.
However, when asked about lifting the US embargo on exporting vaccine raw materials or share the unused stockpile of AstraZeneca vaccines, she refrained from giving a satisfactory answer. Instead, she spoke about the assistance the US had previously provided India for the pandemic and for other health programmes.
"From the earliest stages of the pandemic, we've provided India with emergency relief supplies, medical consumables, pandemic training for Indian state and local health officials, and ventilators."She said.
Psaki also claimed that the US has given $1.4 billion in health assistance to help India "prepare for pandemics in the future and deal with the current one we're facing".
The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed by Oxford University is approved for use by the World Health Organization in India under the brand name Covishield.
Earlier, QUAD, comprising of India, the US, Australia and Japan had agreed on a joint programme for the US and Japan to finance the manufacture of one billion Covid-19 vaccines by India, which are to be distributed with Australian logistics.