HomeIndian AmericanThe U.S. readies help as India's COVID cases surge

The U.S. readies help as India’s COVID cases surge

Wikimedia Creative Commons from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

By Shruti Rajkumar, AsAmNews Intern

United States Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan are expressing U.S. solidarity and assistance to India as the country set a new global record for the most number of coronavirus infections in a day.

“Our hearts go out to the Indian people in the midst of the horrific COVID-19 outbreak. We are working closely with our partners in the Indian government, and we will rapidly deploy additional support to the people of India and India’s health care heroes,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter.

India’s number of cases surged by 349,691 in the past 24 hours, reports Tribune India. Due to a shortage of medical oxygen and beds, hospitals in New Delhi and all across the country have had to turn patients away.

Sullivan said that the Biden administration has been working around the clock to deploy more resources and support India, reports Tribune India. At the moment, promised assistance includes ventilators and other medical aid, however, there has been no confirmation on providing oxygen and raw materials for vaccine manufacturing in India 

According to Voice of America, the United States put in place export controls on raw materials for vaccines in February through the Defense Production Act and an associated export embargo, which prompted criticism in India, reports Voice for America. 

This month, the world’s biggest vaccine maker known as The Serum Institute of India urged President Joe Biden to lift the embargo on U.S. exports of raw material that is hurting its production of AstraZeneca shots, reports Voice of America

U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, however, urged the Biden administration to release unused vaccines to India, claiming that “When people in India and elsewhere desperately need help, we can’t let vaccines sit in a warehouse, we need to get them where they’ll save lives,” reports Voice of America.

According to Tribune India, the U.S. will be useful in assisting India, however, by providing critical care facilities due to the huge spare capacities it has since the pandemic wave hit New York and other major U.S. cities last year. Offers from European countries have been in the critical care segment, rather than in the manufacturing of vaccines, therefore making America’s role crucial in ensuring that Indian manufacturing of vaccines is not affected.

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