India coronavirus cases set new global record as U.S. readies help

US to send support as India battles devastating COVID surge

"We are working closely with Indian officials at both political and experts' level to identify ways to help address the crisis", Psaki said at her daily news conference.

"India is one of our Quad partners, of course, in discussing vaccine creation and distribution for the future".

The Quad is the grouping of India, the US, Japan and Australia.

Others such as US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the Biden administration to release unused vaccines to India.

During the phone call, the US also said the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is funding a substantial expansion of manufacturing capability for BioE, the vaccine manufacturer in India, enabling BioE to ramp up to produce at least 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.

Observers noted Merkel's comments came against the backdrop of several European countries themselves banning exports of vaccines, and at a time when India is registering a record number of infections - 332,730 as of Friday - and is struggling to cope with the surge. They have a situation there where there are variants that have arisen. "The United States also is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis", the statement added.

India is now reporting record Covid-19 cases even as it plans to open up vaccinations to everyone over the age of 18 years from 1 May. The death toll rose to 1,86,920 with a record 2,263 new fatalities.

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With the sudden spike in the number of Covid patients, India's pharmaceutical sector has been working on war footing to boost vaccine productions.

A US State Department spokesperson said the Biden administration's first obligation is to take care of the requirements of the American people.

US State Department spokeswoman, Jalina Porter on Friday (local time) during a press briefing reaffirmed that US will work closely with India to facilitate movement of essential supplies during COVID-19 surge.

"This is a global pandemic and India demonstrates the risk of what can happen if we don't get the pandemic under control everywhere". And it's why we made the biggest investment in COVAX and we are committed to sharing vaccine supply.

The US has halted the export of raw materials critical for the production of Covid vaccines under the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950, which was invoked by former US President Donald Trump and now being continued by US President Joe Biden.

"We also continue to collaborate with our partners in India to battle this at the highest level". The US government can stop the companies from exporting them. "If we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the United States, I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up", he tweeted.

He said these vaccine doses will not be needed in the United States, where it's estimated that vaccine manufacturers will be able to produce enough doses by early June to inoculate every American.

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