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US Defence Secretary directs Pentagon to provide material support to Indian healthcare workers

By LALIT K JHA
April 26, 2021 11:54 IST
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US Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd has directed the Pentagon to provide all necessary support to Indian healthcare workers battling the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

IMAGE: United States Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, March 19, 2021. Photograph: ANI Photo.
 

The move comes soon after US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris directed towards mobilisation of American resources to assist India to tackle the unprecedented health crisis in the wake of the deadly second wave of coronavirus.

“The men and women of the Department of Defense stand by our Indian partners in their hour of need. We are in this fight together,” Austin said in a statement on Sunday. Austin was the first high-level Biden administration's official to visit India last month.

Austin said he has directed the department to use every resource at its disposal, to support US interagency efforts to rapidly provide India's frontline healthcare workers with the materials they need.

“We are currently assessing the equipment we can both procure and draw from our own inventory in the coming days and weeks.”

“In the next few days, we will provide transportation and logistics assistance to deliver needed supplies to India, including oxygen-related equipment, rapid testing kits, and personal protective equipment,” Austin said.

“We will continue to work closely with other US agencies and departments, as well as with industry, to support our Indian partners in their effort to combat this outbreak,” he said.

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LALIT K JHA
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