Under tremendous pressure from domestic quarters and facing international criticism for its ‘insensitivity’, US President Joe Biden tweeted that the United States would stand by India as the latter stood with Washington during the first wave of Covid-19 infection. In an affirmation that India’s “Vaccine Maitri” initiative paid off, the president declared that US medical supplies were already on the way.
The US eventually remembered that during the Covid-19 outbreak last year, India had supplied hydroxychloroquine to the US and Europe without wasting time. Supplying HCQ to a total of 150 countries, India despatched 6.5 crore vaccine doses to 93 countries in Asia, Latin America and African countries apart from the UK for the sake of humanity.
In India, many are crediting the resumption of medical exports from the US to a call from National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to his American counterpart Jake Sullivan.
The American interlocutors earlier told their Indian counterparts that the US would provide all medical support after President Biden expressed his determination to reciprocate India for the help the latter had extended when the US hospitals were under strain.
“It is quite evident now that Covid-19 virus will continuously hit the globe till the transmission chain comes to zero with full vaccination. Hence, all countries including India must be part of a global supply chain so that help is extended to the hit country …. we are expecting American supplies in next 48 hours,” said a former foreign secretary.
US Secretary of Defense Llyod J Austin III took to Twitter to say he has directed the department of defense to use every resource at their disposal to support United States interagency efforts to provide India’s frontline healthcare workers with the materials they need.
Medical support to India from countries like the US, France, UAE, Denmark, Singapore Israel and some EU nations has started to come in as New Delhi stood firm with the democratic world in supply of much needed drugs and vaccine.
Under the ‘vaccine maitri’ initiative, India supplied much needed drugs in the form of grants as well as on commercial basis.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister of Dominica Dr Roosevelt Skerrit wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he said that as India stood by Dominica during its need, the island country will reciprocate by helping New Delhi in times of its unprecedented health crisis.
“As Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, I wish to affirm that we stand united with India in her hour of need.” wrote PM Skerrit in his message to Indian Narendra Modi.
India’s daily count of cases of the coronavirus disease stayed above 300,000 for the fifth consecutive day, the Union ministry of health and family welfare dashboard showed on Monday morning. The country recorded more than 350,000 fresh infections in the last 24 hours for the first time, as a record 352,991 cases took the infection tally to 17,313,163, the dashboard showed.