WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI: The Donald Trump administration has provided $2.9 million to aid India's fight against the coronavirus disease. In an official statement issued by US Embassy in New Delhi , the US government said that the pandemic financial support was granted to India through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The statement comes a day after President Trump called Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to supply the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine that is being used to treat COVID-19 patients and as prophylactic by health care workers. The government has imposed a ban on export of the drug since the coronavirus outbreak hit India. The US as of now has the highest number of the novel coronavirus infection cases in the world.
The relief is in addition to $1.4 billion in health assistance, and nearly $3 billion in total assistance, that the US has provided to India over the last 20 years, the embassy said. The funds will help the Indian government to slow the spread of Covid-19, provide care for the affected, and support local communities with the tools needed to contain the disease, the US said.
Praising India's efforts, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster said, "The US government, through USAID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other US Department of Health and Human Services agencies, is working closely with the Government of India and multilateral agencies to support India's response to this global pandemic."
Meanwhile the government has decided to lift a partial ban on hydroxychloroquine after US President Donald Trump requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to export the drug to aid America's fight against the deadly COVID-19 disease.
Official sources said that the government will clear the existing orders immediately on humanitarian grounds. The Centre, sources said, will not ban but restrict the export of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol depending on the availability of stock after meeting domestic requirements. The Ministry of External Affairs and pharma industry will decide on such allocations depending on the humanitarian crisis, sources said.