Senior US officials on Tuesday pledged sustained support for India in helping it deal with the world's worst current surge of COVID-19 infections, warning the country is still at the "front end" of the crisis and overcoming it will take some time.
The White House's National Security Council coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, Kurt Campbell, told a virtual event on the US assistance that President Joe Biden had told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a phone call on Monday: "You let me know what you need and we will do it.”
Campbell further told Reuters, ”We all have to realise that this is not a challenge that is going to resolve (in) the next several days," he said.
Tackling the crisis, he said, was important not just for the people of India but for the United States, given India's essential role as global provider of vaccines.
The UK too has shown support by sending in an urgent supply of vaccines, including 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators. India’s European partners too have jumped to its aid, with France sending eight large oxygen generating plants and Ireland, Germany and Australia sending oxygen concentrators and ventilators, an Indian foreign ministry official said, underlining the crucial need of oxygen.
The World Health Organization said it was working to deliver 4,000 oxygen concentrators, calling India's plight "beyond heartbreaking".
Two Indian government sources also told Reuters earlier on Tuesday that New Delhi expects to secure the biggest chunk of the 60 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses the United States will share globally.