U.S., France to send COVID-19 aid to India as country sees record-breaking cases

Click to play video: 'India on the brink of COVID-19 collapse as countries race to help'
India on the brink of COVID-19 collapse as countries race to help
WATCH ABOVE: India's healthcare system is on the brink of collapse as the country suffers the world's worst surge of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Inside hospitals, oxygen is running out, and the government is pleading for help. As Jennifer Johnson reports, the United States is racing to send critical supplies – Apr 25, 2021

The Biden administration’s top medical adviser on the COVID-19 pandemic says the U.S. is actively looking at ways to boost aid to India as it grapples with surging coronavirus cases.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC’s “This Week” that several measures are being considered, including sending over oxygen supplies, COVID-19 tests, drug treatments and personal protective equipment.

The outbreak in India adds to the pressure on President Joe Biden to provide vaccines to other countries. Biden has said the U.S. won’t begin doing so until it has enough supplies at home.

Fauci said Sunday that the U.S. would review how to help increase India’s vaccine supply, such as by sending them doses or helping them “to essentially make vaccines themselves.”

Click to play video: 'International concern over India’s COVID crisis'
International concern over India’s COVID crisis

He said: “Bottom line, it’s a terrible situation that’s going on in India and other lower middle-income countries, and there is more we can do.”

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Later on Sunday, a White House spokeswoman confirmed that the United States will immediately provide raw materials for COVID-19 vaccines, medical equipment and protective gear to help India respond to a massive surge in COVID-19 infections.

“The United States is working around the clock to deploy available resources and supplies,” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement.

She said the United States would send raw materials required for India to manufacture the Covishield vaccine, as well as therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators and protective equipment for frontline workers.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Delhi police deliver oxygen as hospital supplies remain low'
COVID-19: Delhi police deliver oxygen as hospital supplies remain low

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all citizens to be vaccinated and exercise caution, as the country set a global record for new COVID-19 infections in a single day.

The United States was also is pursuing options to provide India with oxygen generation and related supplies.

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Washington, which has faced mounting pressure to help the world’s largest democracy, would also send a team of experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Agency for International Development to work with India on the crisis, Horne said.

France will also send oxygen respiratory equipment to India in the coming days to help the country deal with the serious COVID-19 crisis there, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, the European Commission activated its EU Civil Protection Mechanism and said it was seeking to send oxygen and medicine to India after receiving a request from Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government has also declared that it is ready to supply India with medical equipment as needed.

“We are in touch with India and our High Commissioner in India Nadir Patel about a number of options that may be on the table for us to assist,” procurement minister Anita Anand said during a press conference Friday when asked whether Canada would step in to help.

“We will stand ready with PPE and ventilators and any items that might be useful for the government of India.”

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— With files from Global News

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