USA to send raw material 'urgently required' to manufacture Covishield in India

Henrietta Strickland
April 26, 2021

US Senator Ed Markey from MA tweeted on Thursday the need to help India in a time of crisis. Number one, we have a special responsibility to the American people.

Merkel held out what was perceived in some quarters as a veiled threat on the issue of India calibrating Covid-19 vaccine exports since last month in order to focus on its domestic immunisation programme.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration's top medical adviser on the pandemic on Friday said that India is going through a very awful situation right now in a press briefing regarding surge in COVID-19 cases.

The US has halted the export of raw materials critical for the production of Covid vaccines under the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950, which was invoked by former US President Donald Trump and now being continued by US President Joe Biden.

US State Department spokeswoman, Jalina Porter on Friday (local time) during a press briefing reaffirmed that US will work closely with India to facilitate movement of essential supplies during COVID-19 surge.

"We really need to do more".

He also said the United States is discussing "really ramping up what we can do on the ground, oxygen supplies, drugs, tests, PPE, as well as taking the look into the intermediate and long run about how we can get vaccines to these individuals, both immediately now, as well as in the situation where you help them to be able to essentially make vaccines themselves".

"And, you know, this is a global pandemic, and India demonstrates the risk of what can happen if we don't get the pandemic under control everywhere. That, in turn, poses a threat well beyond the United States".

He cited the United States rejoining the World Health Organisation and Washington's contribution of $2 billion to the COVAX facility that provides vaccines to developing countries and the promise of $2 billion more to it.

"The U.S.is deeply concerned by the severe COVID outbreak in India".

"We also continue to collaborate with our partners in India to battle this at the highest level".

These comments of concern and support come amid growing calls to the Biden administration to send spare COVID-19 vaccines and to lift the embargo on raw materials for the vaccine.

India surpassed the United States record of 297,430 single-day infections anywhere in the world on Thursday, making it the global epicentre of a pandemic that is waning in many other countries.

India is in the grip of a rampaging second wave of the pandemic, hitting a rate of one Covid-19 death in just under every four minutes in Delhi as the capital's underfunded health system buckles. "The global community must step up and immediately offer the assistance needed", she said Saturday on Twitter.

Shekar Narasimhan, a major Democratic fundraiser for Biden's presidential campaign, urged the President to speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and "see if we can lend 10 million doses of AZ (AstraZeneca) vaccines like tomorrow". "We're looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using", the president said on Wednesday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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