Infectious Disease

U.S. pledges help for coronavirus-hit India

April 26, 2021

3 min read

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Healio interview.

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Del Rio, Horne and Psaki do not report any relevant financial information. Kuppalli reports that he is a member of an advisory board for GlaxoSmithKline.

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As the COVID-19 situation in India continues to worsen, countries around the world are pledging aid – including the United States, which has promised to send raw materials necessary to manufacture coronavirus vaccines and other relief supplies.

The US has also announced plans to share 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine with other countries as they become available.

Kuppalli quote

India ranks second globally behind the US in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases with more than 17.3 million and third in deaths from the disease behind the US and Brazil with more than 195,000. According to the latest vaccination reports, more than 130 million doses of vaccine had been administered in India by April 20 – the third highest in a single country after only the US and China.

However, as of Saturday, India had recorded record-breaking cases for 4 days and reported the highest daily death toll for the 9th straight day. According to CNN, there were 2,767 deaths in 24 hours.

“Many health estimates right now say that cases and deaths are underreported and are therefore much higher than what we know and that they are getting much worse.” Krutika Kuppalli, MD, said Healio, assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina and vice chairman of the Global Health Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “We have to take this into account and continue to monitor the situation closely.”

As deaths and deaths continue to rise, India is facing a shortage of intensive care beds, oxygen, ventilators and medication. According to CNN, the authorities carried out mass burnings in makeshift locations.

In addition to pledging raw materials to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine, the US will also send therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment to India, a spokesman for the National Security Council said.

“Just as India sent aid to the US because our hospitals were congested at the start of the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its need,” said President Joe Biden tweeted.

Carlos del Rio

“Obviously the COVID-19 epidemic is exploding in India and India is quickly being overwhelmed by the number of patients.” Carlos del Rio, MD, Infectious Disease News Board Member and Executive Associate Dean at Emory University School of Medicine, said Healio. “The US must resume its leadership role in global health and first lift an export ban on raw materials used to make vaccines.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki During a press conference on Monday, it was confirmed that the US will be releasing 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries. The US already has more than 20 million doses in stock, according to Bloomberg reports, even though the vaccine is not approved for use in the US

“We don’t need to use AstraZeneca in our fight against COVID-19 for the next few months,” said Psaki, noting that three more vaccines are available in the US.

In addition to supplies and vaccines, Kuppalli said intellectual property patents should also be shared, adding that this would enable global vaccine production to grow rapidly and improve the global situation in the long term.

“When we look at the situation in India, we have to think not only in the short term, but also in the long term,” said Kuppalli. “India is one of the largest manufacturers of generic drugs and antiretroviral therapy, so what this huge surge will do for the global economy will be very worrying.”

“We really have to make sure together as a world that we are safe,” added Kuppalli, “because what happens in one part of the world really does affect the rest of the world.”

References:

Suri M. India sets the Covid-19 infection record for the fourth day in a row, with hospitals desperate for oxygen. April 25, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/25/asia/indiacovidfourth-day-record-infections-intl-hnk/index.html.

Press briefing.

WHO. COVID-19: India. https://covid19.who.int/region/searo/country/in. Accessed April 26, 2021.

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