$100 million worth US Covid relief aid starts arriving in India

US aid comes as India sees another record single-day rise of 379,257 corona cases.

From Oxygen to rapid tests to vaccine materials, US is rushing more than $100 million worth of relief aid to India as it saw another record single-day rise of 3,79,257 new coronavirus infections Thursday.

“Reflecting the United States’ solidarity with India as it battles a new wave of Covid-19 cases, the United States is delivering supplies worth more than $100 million in the coming days to provide urgent relief to our partners in India,” the White House said Wednesday.

US Government assistance flights start arriving in India on April 29 and will continue into next week.

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States when our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need,” the White House said.

The assistance includes oxygen cylinders and 1,700 mobile concentrators that obtain oxygen out of the air, amid a shortage of oxygen in the country, it said detailing the relief announced over the weekend.

READ: US pledges steadfast, ongoing support for Covid hit India (April 27, 2021)

The US is sending supplies to allow India to manufacture over 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as 15 million N95 masks, one million rapid tests that provide reliable results in less than 15 minutes, and experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House said.

In a tweet on Thursday afternoon, Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu thanked the president for the assistance. He wrote, “Two US aircrafts with Oxygen equipment & other Covid related supplies landing in India soon. Thank you @POTUS for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with India during this challenging time!”

The increased US assistance comes after pressure built on the Biden administration from members of Congress and health experts to do more for hard hit India with a total of over 18.38 million cases including three million active cases.

The death toll increased to 204,832 with a record of 3,645 daily new fatalities, according to Indian Health Ministry data updated at 8 am IST Thursday.

In addition to federal assistance, “US state governments, private companies, non-government organizations, and thousands of Americans from across the country have mobilized to deliver vital oxygen, related equipment, and essential supplies for Indian hospitals to support frontline health care workers and the people of India most affected during the current outbreak,” the White House said.

READ: United States offers to make vaccine ingredients available to India immediately (April 25, 2021)

Immediate US emergency Covid-19 assistance includes an initial delivery of 1,100 cylinders that will remain in India and can be repeatedly refilled at local supply centers, with more planeloads to come, the fact sheet said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also locally procured oxygen cylinders and will deliver them to support hospital systems in coordination with the Government of India.

The US is also sending multiple large-scale Oxygen Generation Units (PSA Systems) to support up to 20 patients each, and additional mobile units will provide an ability to target specific shortages.

A team of US experts will support these units, working hand-in-hand on the ground with Indian medical personnel.

Also on way is the first tranche of a planned 20,000 treatment courses of the antiviral drug Remdesivir to help treat hospitalized patients.

US CDC experts, White House said, will work hand-in- hand with India’s experts in laboratory, surveillance and epidemiology, bioinformatics for genomic sequencing and modeling, infection prevention and control, vaccine rollout, and risk communication.

The US and India have closely worked together to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, the White House noted with US assistance reaching more than 9.7 million Indians across more than 20 states and union territories.

The US, it said, has partnered with more than 1,000 Indian healthcare facilities to strengthen preparedness, including training of over 14,000 people on infection prevention and control.

It has helped keep more than 213,000 frontline workers safe — including risk mitigation training for doctors, nurses, midwives, community volunteers, sanitation workers, and others who are actively responding to Covid-19 in India.

The US has also launched joint public messaging with UNICEF on Covid prevention that has reached more than 84 million people.

It has provided 200 state-of-the-art ventilators to 29 healthcare facilities in 15 states to care for critically-ill Covid-19 patients.

For 70 years, US public health experts from across the government, including USAID, HHS, CDC, FDA, and NIH, have worked in partnership with Indian officials to improve the health of India’s most vulnerable communities and the well-being of its people, the White House said.

Over the last 20 years, US foreign assistance to India has exceeded $2.8 billion, including more than $1.4 billion for health care, it said.

READ MORE:

Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella rushing aid to covid-hit India (April 26, 2021)

How pressure mounted on Biden administration to help India during coronavirus surge (April 25, 2021)

Indian Americans concerned about travel to Covid hit India (April 26, 2021)

Vinod Khosla offers to help Indian hospitals with import of oxygen (April 24, 2021)

Covid tsunami hits India with record 332,000 daily cases (April 23, 2021)

READ: Don’t let the ‘America First’ derail India-U.S. ties (April 24, 202)

 

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