Washington: With the world rushing to aid India in its struggle against surging Covid cases, the US on Sunday finally agreed to provide it raw materials for vaccines that had previously been under export controls, as well as other key material.
A White House statement said that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone on Sunday with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, and expressed “deep sympathy for the people of India following the recent spike in Covid-19 cases”, and affirmed America’s solidarity with India.
“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need.
To this end, the United States is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies, it said.
“The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India. To help treat Covid-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the United States has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India,” it read.
The US, which had earlier said its primacy was for its citizens, changed its stance on lifting export controls on raw materials for vaccines that were put in place in February, following repeated requests from Indian officials and the Serum Institute of India (SII).