US: Lawmakers introduce resolution to support India's fight against COVID-19
The raging second COVID-19 wave is wreaking havoc in India with lakhs of people getting infected every day consecutively for over a month and thousands losing their battle to the deadly disease. At a critical time like this, a resolution in the US House of Representatives has been tabled, urging President Joe Biden's administration to further increase efforts to assist India's fight against COVID-19.
Resolution urged administration to supply urgently needed medical supplies
The resolution—introduced by the co-chairs of the Congressional India Caucus, Congressmen Brad Sherman and Steve Chabot—urged the Biden administration to make private and in-kind medical supply donations for India. It also urged the administration to supply additional medical supplies and urgently required medical supplies such as oxygen generator plans as well as a cryogenic oxygen tanker and containers to India.
US administration quickly responded to India's crisis, noted resolution
The resolution also noted the Biden administration's efforts to supply emergency medical supplies and raw vaccine materials to India. The administration, responding to India's COVID-19 crisis, took quick measures to deliver urgently-needed medical supplies like oxygen concentrators, oxygen support, raw vaccine materials, personal protective equipment (PPE), rapid diagnostic tests, and therapeutics. This stands testament to the more-than-seven-decade-long US-India health cooperation, the resolution said.
Resolution acknowledges American private sector's efforts to help India
The resolution acknowledged the efforts by the American private sector that has worked generously to aid India's COVID-19 relief work by delivering 25,000 oxygen concentrators and 1,000 ventilators to various healthcare facilities in the country. Also, the resolution stated that a number of countries have delivered medical assistance to India to help the world's second worst-hit country to defeat the second COVID-19 wave.
US should expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution worldwide: Resolution
However, the resolution said that since vaccine supply for Americans is now secured, it's important the US continued to step up efforts to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution across the globe by working with the private sector and other partners. The resolution called on President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to work with all global partners possible to quell the deadly virus.
Resolution recognized how India helped the US last year
Moreover, the bipartisan resolution recognized India's important role and its global efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing the need to assist India in this time of dire need. It noted that last year, when the US was witnessing a dangerous spike in infections, India responded to the American government's request by lifting the ban on exports of certain therapeutics to help the US.
Top US lawmakers earlier called India's situation 'heartbreaking'
Earlier this month, top American lawmakers expressed concerns over the sudden spike of COVID-19 infections in India, saying it was a heartbreaking situation. "As long as COVID-19 persists in India, there is the potential for additional variants that could pose a serious threat to a vaccinated America. We must do our part to quell the virus anywhere and everywhere it persists," Sherman said earlier.
India reported 2.63 lakh new COVID-19 cases, 4,300+ deaths
On Tuesday, India reported 2,63,533 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours and a record 4,329 deaths. Although this is India's lowest single-day spike in 28 days, experts have warned the actual infections/deaths could be five to 10 times higher as there's a lack of sufficient COVID-19 testing in India. Meanwhile, the Centre earlier acknowledged that the outbreak in rural India is worsening.