US assures delivery of raw materials for vaccines and oxygen concentrators

US President Joe Biden. [Reuters]

In the next 48 hours, the United States will be delivering raw material for vaccines, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, PPE kits to India, this was assured by US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan in his 45-minute-long phone call with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Sunday.

India sees it as one of the most tangible support coming in the need of the hour when the country is facing an alarming rise in the Covid-19 numbers. Sources informed that NSA Doval pushed for India's requirements during the talks. Supply of Remdesivir and raw material required by Serum Institute also figured in the discussion.

"Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need. To this end, the United States is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies. The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India. The United States also is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis," said a White House statement released after Doval-Sullivan talks.

NSA Jake Sullivan and Doval also discussed the Quad vaccine initiative in which more than a billion doses are to be produced in India.

The US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is funding a substantial expansion of manufacturing capability for BioE, the vaccine manufacturer in India, enabling BioE to ramp up to produce at least one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.

Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. [Reuters]

The United States is deploying an expert team of public health advisors from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and USAID to work in close collaboration with the US Embassy, India's health ministries, and India's Epidemic Intelligence Service staff.

USAID will also quickly work with CDC to support and fast-track the mobilisation of emergency resources available to India through the Global Fund.

US President Joe Biden also tweeted earlier today, "Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need."

Last year India exported 50 million hydroxychloroquine tablets to the US for the fight against Covid-19.

ANI has learnt that NSA Ajit Doval also held talks with his counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Tankers for oxygen supply have been sought along with other equipment. It is learnt both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have assured help to India.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is also holding series of talks with various countries to import medicines, oxygen and tankers for fighting the deadly wave of the pandemic, efforts are being made at multiple levels of government to augment the supply chain.