External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday spoke to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on COVID-19 situation in India and reviewed the flow of equipment and material from the United States.
"Just concluded a call with @SecBlinken. Our discussions focussed on Indian requirements to address the Covid challenge more effectively," Jaishankar tweeted.
In a subsequent tweet, Jaishankar wrote, "Reviewed the flow of equipment and material from the US. Highlighted the importance of strengthening oxygen supply, expanding vaccine production and increasing Remdesivir supply. Appreciated the forthcoming response of the US in this regard."
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price also informed that the both leaders reaffirmed the strength of the US-India partnership in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Secretary of State Antony J Blinken spoke with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today to reaffirm the strength of the US-India partnership in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expressing his appreciation for Indian assistance in America's time of need, Blinken reviewed comprehensive ongoing US government efforts in support of the Indian government's COVID-19 response operations," Price said in a statement.
Both the leaders agreed to remain in close contact during this difficult period.
"Blinken also noted the outpouring of support from US industries, non-governmental institutions, and private citizens for COVID-19 relief efforts in India. The Secretary offered condolences and noted our concern for those who have lost friends and loved ones during this difficult period. Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar agreed to remain in close contact," the statement read.
On Friday, the United States delivered its first shipment of medical supplies to India including 423 oxygen cylinders with regulators (200 Size D, 223 Size H), 210 pulse oximeters, 184,000 Abbott Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits, and 84000 N-95 face masks, while in second shipment the US delivered 17 H-size (large) oxygen cylinders and 7,00,000 Abbott Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits to help the country fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The surge in the COVID-19 cases continues to affect India as the country records over 3.8 lakh daily cases.India reports 3,86,452 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours and this is the highest single-day spike in the cases since the pandemic began last year. The cumulative count of the COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,87,62,976, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
( With inputs from ANI )
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