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COVID-19 update: US dispatches 318 oxygen concentrators, Joe Biden dodges America First policy to support India

318 Philips Oxygen Concentrators loaded by Air India at JFK Airport on their way to Delhi, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

April 26, 2021 / 12:18 PM IST
Joe Biden's administration said that it is

Joe Biden's administration said that it is "working round the clock" to immediately send raw material to India


The United States, on April 26, dispatched over 300 Philips Oxygen Concentrators for India after President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris had assured assistance to India.

"318 Philips Oxygen Concentrators loaded by Air India at JFK Airport on their way to Delhi. An effort by the civil aviation sector to save every precious human life & further strengthen India’s spirited fight against COVID-19," said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

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Deviating from the America First policy, President Joe Biden's administration said it was "working round the clock" to immediately send India raw material needed for making Covishield and other products needed in the fight against the COVID-19 surge.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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"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," Biden said in a tweet.

Read: US President Joe Biden, VP Kamala Harris assure India of support in fight against COVID-19

"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," Harris said in a tweet.

The tweets by Biden and Harris are the first reactions by the top American leadership after the recent outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in India.

Earlier on April 25, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval during which the White House announced that it is urgently sending medical supplies and equipment to save lives in India.

In charts | COVID-19 cases in India, state-wise trends, vaccination data, and other key details

Various hospitals across the country continue to grapple with a severe shortage of medical oxygen on Sunday even after receiving emergency supplies.

With 3,52,991 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, the highest so far, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 1,73,13,163, while active cases have crossed the 28-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The death toll increased to 1,95,123 with a record 2,812 new fatalities, the data showed.

Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 26, 2021 12:18 pm

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