US steps up efforts to support India’s Covid fight
The US government has “stepped up” to provide Covid-19 related relief to India, secretary of state Antony Blinken wrote in a tweet about his phone call with external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
Blinken said he spoke with Jaishankar “to share my condolences and reiterate continued US support for Covid-19 relief efforts in India”.
He added, “The US government has stepped up to help our partners, just as the American private sector, NGOs, and citizens have also helped to meet this challenge.
Ned Price, the state department spokesperson, said that Blinken expressed “his appreciation for Indian assistance in America’s time of need” and reviewed “comprehensive ongoing US government efforts in support of the Indian government’s Covid-19 response operations”. The Indian assistance was a consignment of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine sent in 2020 at the request of then US president Donald Trump.
US Secretary of defence Lloyd Austin tweeted a video of a US C-17 transport plane landing in New Delhi with relief supplies. “The landing of this C-17 in Delhi is a tribute to all of the women and men who banded together to deliver medical & oxygen supplies to our friends and partners in India. Great job.”
The United States had pledged assistance worth $100 millions, which includes oxygen plants and cylinders, personal protective equipment such as N95 mass and therapeutics like remdesivir. It has also cleared the export of raw materials needed by Indian vaccine maker Serum Institute of India.