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For the First Time in 16 Years, India Open to Accepting Foreign Aid, China Also on List

File photo of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

File photo of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

The United States will be delivering COVID-19 relief materials worth over USD100 million to India in the coming days.

Keeping the unprecedented situation in mind, India, for the first time in 16 years, is starting to accept foreign aid.

According to an exclusive report by The Indian Express, state governments are also free to procure these life-saving devices and medicines from foreign agencies, and the Central government will not be against it.

India is also considering buying equipment from China if the need arises. On Pakistan, India is yet to take a decision.

The United States will be delivering COVID-19 relief materials worth over USD100 million to India in the coming days, the White House said as the first flight carrying urgent health supplies left for the country.

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The shipment includes 440 oxygen cylinders and regulators, generously donated by the state of California, USAID said.

In addition, on this first flight, USAID is sending 960,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests to identify infections early to help prevent the community spread of COVID-19, and 100,000 N95 masks to protect India"s frontline healthcare heroes, it added.

Asserting that this reflects America’s solidarity with India as it battles a new wave of COVID-19, the White House said that the immediate emergency assistance includes oxygen support, oxygen concentrators, oxygen generation units, personal protective equipment, vaccine manufacturing supplies and rapid diagnostic tests.

According to the White House, initial delivery of 1,100 cylinders will remain in India and can be repeatedly refilled at local supply centres, with planeloads more to come.

The US is providing Oxygen Generation Units (PSA Systems) as well.

The US is further providing 15 million N95 masks to protect both patients and Indian health care personnel.

The Biden administration has re-directed its own order of AstraZeneca manufacturing supplies to India. This will allow India to make over 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the White House said.

According to a fact sheet issued by the White House, the US is providing the first tranche of a planned 20,000 treatment courses of the antiviral drug remdesivir to help treat hospitalised patients.

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first published:April 29, 2021, 09:03 IST