In a phone call with PM Modi, President Biden pledges US ‘steadfast support’ for India amid COVID-19 surge

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden had a telephonic conversation on Monday night wherein the latter pledged America’s “steadfast support” for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
The phone call comes a day after the United States announced that it will send the raw material required for the Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine, in a bid to support India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a tweet, PM Modi said, “Had a fruitful conversation with US President Joe Biden today. We discussed the evolving COVID situation in both countries in detail. I thanked President Biden for the support being provided by the United States to India.”
The Prime Minister further said that their discussion also underlined the importance of smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines. “India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19,” he added.

According to a press statement by the White House, the two leaders resolved that the United States and India will continue to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in the effort to protect “our citizens and the health of our communities”.
“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, committing that the United States and India will work closely together in the fight against COVID-19. The President pledged America’s steadfast support for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases,” the statement read.

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“In response, the United States is providing a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics. Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation for the strong cooperation between both countries,” the statement further noted.

India is reeling under the impact of the second wave of coronavirus. The country has been reported over 3 lakh daily cases in the last few days.
India on Monday reported 3.52 lakh fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. This is the highest single-day spike registered since the onset of the pandemic.

On Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone with Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, expressing deep sympathy for the people of India following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
The White House had said that 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.

Later on Sunday, Biden said that the United States is determined to “help” India as it faces an unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.
“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,” Biden tweeted.