NEW DELHI: The US on Wednesday said the vaccine components it has supplied to India this week will enable the manufacturing of two crore doses of the Covishield vaccine even as the sixth shipment of American medical aid arrived as part of the Biden administration’s assistance to the country’s response to a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
The United States also sent a separate shipment of over 81,000 vials of Remdesivir injections that was delivered in Mumbai.
As India continues to reel under a record-breaking wave of the coronavirus infection, the European Union (EU) announced an initial Euro 2.2 million (approximately Rs 19 crore) in emergency funding to support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
The 27-nation grouping said the funding announced by the European Commission is in addition to the medical assistance being provided to India by the EU member states.
“Today, the commission has announced that it will allocate an initial Euro 2.2 million in emergency funding to respond to the drastic surge in COVID-19 cases in India,” the EU said.
“The funding will support the World Health Organization (WHO) for a six-month case management of COVID-19 patients as well as for strengthening the laboratory capacity for COVID-19 testing,” it said.
In line with its announcement to support India in its fight against the pandemic, the US delivered the sixth shipment of its aid on Wednesday.
“The American people continue to deliver life-saving assistance to India, with the 6th flight of emergency relief in 6 days! This shipment includes a climate-friendly oxygen generation unit which can turn air into oxygen. Thanks to the people of California!” the US embassy said in a tweet.
Separately, US Charg D’Affaires in India Daniel B Smith said both the countries will together defeat the pandemic.
“The #USIndia partnership involves all aspects of the relationship: government, business, and people. This week, vaccine components arrived in India from the U.S. that will enable the manufacturing of 20 million doses of the Covishield vaccine. Together we will defeat COVID-19!” he said in a tweet.
Providing raw materials for the production of anti-coronavirus vaccines was a major component of the Biden administration’s announcement on medical aid to India.
The Covishield vaccine is produced in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII), based in Maharashtra’s Pune.
Last month, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla appealed to US President Joe Biden to lift the embargo on the export of raw materials needed to manufacture the vaccines.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said a shipment of over 81,000 vials of Remdesivir from the US arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday morning.
“Further elevating the India and the United States Strategic Partnership! Appreciate the shipment of over 81000 vials of Remdesivir from the US that arrived early this morning in Mumbai,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Israel delivered its first consignment of medical supplies comprising oxygen concentrators to India on Wednesday. The consignment was brought to the country in a special flight.
The Israeli embassy said more such flights will bring emergency medical aid, including thousands of group and individual oxygen generators, respirators, medications and additional medical equipment.
“In this hour of need, our two democracies stand solidly side by side. The State of Israel is happy to lend a helping hand to our friend India in this complicated and difficult time,” Israeli ambassador Ron Malka said.
“Our friendship is strong and collaboration during the COVID-19 crisis will only make it stronger. I see great importance in the cooperation with India in this joint fight against the global pandemic,” he added.
Source: Press Trust of India