New Delhi, April 25:
The US will deploy additional support to India in it fight against the rapidly rising cases of coronavirus in the country. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on call on Friday and offered to deploy resources and supplies for the Serum Institute of India to boost the production of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield. He also said US will supply rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to India.
“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. To help treat COVID-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the United States has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India,” a statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne read.
The United States has faced criticism in India for its export controls on raw materials for vaccines put in place via the Defense Production Act and an associated export embargo in February.
The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s biggest vaccine maker, this month urged U.S. President Joe Biden to lift the embargo on US exports of raw materials that is hurting its production of AstraZeneca shots.
Others such as US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the Biden administration to release unused vaccines to India. “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,” he said.