United States President Joe Biden on Monday conveyed solidarity with India in its fight against COVID-19 and asserted that his country was determined to support its efforts by quickly deploying resources such as therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials to be made available for the manufacture of Covishield vaccine, according to a statement.
Biden expressed the support of the US to India in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders discussed the pandemic situation in their countries, including India's ongoing efforts to contain a second wave of COVID-19 through expedited vaccination efforts, and ensuring supply of critical medicines, therapeutics and medical equipment.
Modi also informed Biden about India's initiative at the World Trade Organization for a relaxation in the norms of the Agreement on TRIPS to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries, the statement said.
"Had a fruitful conversation with @POTUS @JoeBiden today. We discussed the evolving COVID situation in both countries in detail. I thanked President Biden for the support being provided by the United States to India.
"My discussion with @POTUS @JoeBiden also underscored the importance of smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines. India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19," Modi tweeted.
According to the statement, Modi conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the offer of assistance and support from the US.
He mentioned India's commitment to contain the COVID-19 pandemic globally through 'Vaccine Maitri', and its participation in COVAX and the Quad Vaccine Initiatives.
Modi underscored the need to ensure smooth and open supply chains of raw materials and inputs required for manufacture of vaccines, medicines, and therapeutics related to COVID-19.
Both leaders underlined the potential of the India-US partnership in vaccine development and supply to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and directed their respective officials to maintain close coordination and cooperation in their efforts in this domain, the statement said.
The two leaders agreed to remain in regular touch.
The US president and his vice president Kamala Harris had earlier assured India and its people of providing all assistance, including urgently sending necessary medical life-saving supplies and equipment, to help the country combat the deadly coronavirus crisis.
"Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need," Biden had said in a tweet.
The coronavirus situation remained grim in India with the daily COVID-19 infection tally and death toll touching new peaks in the past few days.