The US on Friday announced assistance to India in its fight against the surge in COVID-19 cases. The urgent help announced by the White House ranged from oxygen supplies, raw materials for COVID-19 vaccines, critical life-saving drugs to PPEs. India helped the people of America in their hour of need and the US will provide full support in providing emergency assistance and resources in India’s fight against COVID-19, President Joe Biden asserted after his phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During the call between the two leaders on Tuesday, Biden is understood to have offered all help that India needs in its worst medical crisis. “The president pledged America’s steadfast ongoing support for the people of India, who have been impacted by the recent surge in the COVID-19 cases," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.
At India’s request, the United States is exploring options to provide oxygen and related supplies. The Department of Defense and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are pursuing options to provide oxygen generation systems. “As requested by India, we will provide raw materials for the production of AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at Serum Institute of India," she said.
India has submitted a list of seven essential items that it needs on an urgent basis. These are oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders with 10-litre and 45-litre capacity, oxygen generators, oxygen generation plants, remdesivir, favipiravir and tocilizumab. Psaki said the US has identified rapid diagnostic testing supplies, personal protective equipment, and additional ventilators available to be transferred to India immediately. The US is in close touch with India officials at all levels about the raw material needs that they have, she added.
Here’s a list of the proposed assistance from US government to India:
Oxygen generation and related supplies:
- Considering supply of different components such as oxygen transport, oxygen generation, oxygen cylinders, the oxygen supply chain.
- Pursuing options to provide oxygen generation systems.-
- Finalizing options for contracting oxygen, including cylinders.
- Working on oxygen generation systems, including larger-scale as well as smaller-scale units. They are exploring the provision of field oxygen generation systems, which US has used in its own field hospitals to provide oxygen for 50 to 100 beds. (elements in exploration phase)
- Exploring options to provide oxygen concentrations and ventilators. Already in technical discussions with India to ensure that the equipment supplied will connect to devices in India. Will provide training associated with all of these requests as needed.
- Preparing to help with transportation of these and other supplies to India.
Therapeutics, personal protective equipment and tests:
- Identified US commercial suppliers of Remdesivir that are immediately available.
- Identified rapid diagnostic testing supplies and PPEs to be transferred to India immediately.
- Facilitating India’s own access to those supplies through US-based sources.
Raw materials for Vaccines:
- USA will approve supply of filters required for manufacture of Covishield vaccines.
- US expects that there are approximately 10 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that could be released if and when FDA gives its concurrence in the coming weeks. An estimated additional 50 million doses that are in various stages of production, and these could be completed in stages across May and June. So, in sum, about 60 million doses of AstraZeneca that the US could share with other countries as they become available over the next two months. As these doses become available, the plans will be finalized as to where they would be sent.
- USAID will work with CDC to support and fast-track mobilization of emergency resources available to India through the Global Fund.
- Under the Quad Vaccine Initiative, US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is funding a substantial expansion of manufacturing capability for BioE, the vaccine manufacturer in India, enabling BioE to ramp up to produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.
US Private sector’s COVID 19 assistance to India
- Google: Rs 135 Crore in funding to GiveIndia and UNICEF for medical supplies, orgs supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information.
- Gilead offered to HLL supply of 100,000 vials of Remdesivir free of cost. First and second consignments are expected to be shipped later this week. They can supply an additional amount of 200,000 vials by 31 May 2021. Some institutions in India will be provided raw material by Gilead for local production.
- US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF)– assisting with 12 ISO containers to help transport oxygen in India. They will airlifting oxygen cylinders into India. Through donation of member companies, USISPF is sourcing 100,000 portable oxygen concentrators for use at home and hospitals to be shipped to India immediately. USISPF approached companies in US to supply and/or donate ICU beds, Covid-Test kits, N-95 Masks and other medical equipment. USISPF is working with member companies and NGO partners to set up vaccination and medical centers on corporate campuses.
- US-India Business Council (USIBC) members stepped forward to offer resources for USIBC initiatives.
- Procter & Gamble will contribute towards vaccination of over 5 lakh Indian Citizens by pledging Rs 50 crore in partnership with government and local authorities in India. For every P&G employee in India, the company is contributing towards the vaccination of 100 Indians. In addition, the company will cover vaccination cost of its over 5000 employee force in India, and their eligible immediate family members.
- US Chamber of Commerce issued a statement on 24 April urging US government to distribute its stockpiles of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and provide other lifesaving medical resources to India and other countries.
- Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices.
- Apple announced that they will be donating to support and relief efforts on the ground.
- Amazon has joined hands with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR) and other partners to urgently airlift over 8000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore. Additionally, Amazon India is also procuring over 1500 oxygen concentrators and other critical medical equipment that will be donated to hospitals and medical facilities.
- Deloitte is working with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, the US-India Business Council, the Business Roundtable and India’s Ambassador to the US to mobilize resources. More than forty CEOs of multinational companies came together this weekend to focus on immediate needs like oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and generators, home monitoring kits and critical medicines. 1,000 oxygen concentrators provided by Deloitte on 26 April 2021 and an additional 11,000 being sourced by the end of this week from my fellow CEO colleagues, will help the wider international effort to assist the people of India.