The United States is deeply concerned about the surge in India’s Coronavirus outbreak and will seek more support for the Indian government and health care workers, a White House spokesman said Thursday.
“We are engaged in an active dialogue with senior Indian officials and plan to deploy additional support quickly as they struggle with the latest severe outbreak,” White House spokesman John Pusaki said by email, according to Reuters. ”
Pusaki also said the U.S. has made vaccine cooperation a priority.
In recent days, the outbreak in India has surged, with more than 300,000 new cases added for four consecutive days. The Indian government has deployed military aircraft and trains to transport oxygen support hospitals from other parts of the country and from foreign countries, including Singapore.
Ashish Jha, dean of brown university’s School of Public Health, warned in an op-ed published in The Washington Post on The 24th that India, a country of 1.3 billion people, is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.
Official statistics now put the number of deaths at about 2,000 a day, he said, but most experts estimate that the true figure is five to 10 times that level.
Ashish Ja called on the United States to deliver oxygen to India, test kits and high-quality personal protective equipment, as well as drugs to treat patients with Coronavirus. He also urged the Biden administration to share redundant vaccines with India and other countries in crisis. He noted that an estimated 30 million AstraZeneca vaccines in the U.S. that have not been approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration can be used to aid India.
Ashish Ja also said the U.S. should also lift export controls on raw materials for vaccine production that were previously on the export embargo list under the Defense Production Act.
White House spokesman Prasaki 23, said U.S. and Indian officials are trying to find a solution to the crisis, but there is no timetable for support. She said the U.S. has provided about $1.4 billion in medical aid to India, including emergency relief supplies, training of state and local health officials and ventilators.