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World rushes in help as India fights COVID-19 surge

"If the Indian side makes specific requests, China will provide support and assistance within its capacity," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing.

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New Delhi: As its major partners stood in solidarity with India in its struggle against an unprecedented new wave of Covid infections, China on Monday voiced readiness to meet “specific requests” by India.

“If the Indian side makes specific requests, China will provide support and assistance within its capacity,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing.

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China earlier had expressed readiness to help India fight the new wave of COVID-19 outbreak at the earliest time possible and the two sides are maintaining communication on the matter, said Wang.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said that Indian authorities have been asked to coordinate quick delivery of the relief items.

It said that ways for further cooperation to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic could also be explored.

Pakistan offered to provide ventilators, digital X-ray machines and personal protective equipment.

Edhi Foundation, the Katachi-based philanthropic organisation that runs ambulance services in Pakistan, has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering a fleet of 50 ambulances and support staff.

On Sunday, the US leadership finally agreed to provide India raw material for vaccines that had previously been under export controls, as well as other key material.

President Joe Biden in a tweet said “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.”

Vice-President Kamala Harris added that the US is “working closely with the Indian government to rapidly deploy additional support and supplies during an alarming COVID-19 outbreak.

As we provide assistance, we pray for the people of India—including its courageous healthcare workers.”

A White House statement said that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke on phone with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, and expressed “deep sympathy for the people of India” and said Washington, following the recent spike in Covid-19, is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies.

“The United States has identified sources of specific raw materials 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 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.

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