PM Modi speaks to US President Biden, discusses Covid-19 situation
Talks have taken place a day after the US assured India of providing raw materials required for manufacturing the vaccine
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden had a telephonic conversation on Monday evening. Describing it as “fruitful,” Prime Minister Modi said he thanked Biden for support being provided to India amid the devastating second wave of coronavirus.
“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,” PM Modi tweeted.
“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,” the Prime Minister added.
According to the MEA, President Biden conveyed solidarity with India and affirmed that the United States was determined to support India’s efforts by quickly deploying resources such as therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials to be made available for the manufacture of Covishield vaccines.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the offer of assistance and support from the Government of the United States of America.
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.
The Prime Minister 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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also informed President Biden about India's initiative at the WTO 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 two leaders agreed to remain in regular touch.
Earlier a top White House official said that the Biden administration was “working around the clock” to deploy all resources and supplies to bolster the country's fight against the deadly COVID-19 spike.
The Biden administration has come under criticism from several quarters, including from members and supporters of the Democratic Party, for not releasing surplus COVID-19 vaccines to India when the country is experiencing its worst-ever public health crisis.
Expressing deep sympathy for the people of India following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan, in a telephonic call with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Sunday, 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,” Emily Horne, spokesperson of the US NSA said after the phone call between Sullivan and Doval.
“Building on the seven-decade health partnership between the United States and India -- including battles against smallpox, polio and HIV -- they resolved that India and the United States will continue to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic together,” Horne said.