India, US Collaborating Closely During COVID-19 Pandemic: Ambassador Sandhu

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India and the US are working together on combating the coronavirus and collaboration is underway for co-development of a COVID-19 vaccine and a partnership between the two countries in health, life sciences, and technology sectors can bring benefits to the entire world, the Indian envoy here has said.

During a virtual interaction with the eminent members of the Indian-American community from the Mid-Western parts of the US, India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu said, “During the pandemic, India and the United States have been collaborating closely. Our network of scientific institutions, in India and the United States, are in touch with each other, on a real-time basis.

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The deadly coronavirus that first emerged in China’s Wuhan city has drastically spread around the world, infecting 13,767,548 people and causing 589,192 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker.

Our pharmaceutical companies are working closely together, for the co-development of a vaccine. There are at least three, such collaborations. Gilead has entered into an agreement, with seven Indian pharmaceutical companies, to manufacture and distribute Remdesivir, which has been authorized for treating COVID-19, he said.

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India has been a reliable partner, during the crisis, and stepped up to supply medicines, and equipment, to over 150 countries including the United States, he said.

Closer cooperation in health, life sciences, technology, will be the way forward, he said, adding that the partnership between India and the United States can bring benefits to the entire world.

Noting that the pandemic has created a new normal, he said an early lockdown helped India delay the spread of the virus. Restrictions have now largely been lifted in the country. Except for containment zones, where the number of active cases is still high. Economic activity is coming back to normal in other parts.

The recovery rate in the country which is over 65 per cent is high and a low death rate.

We have put in a system to face the pandemic and are well-prepared to deal with the situation, he told the members of the Indian American community.

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Ambassador has been regularly having virtual meetings with different sections of the Indian American community. This was his sixth such interaction.

Last week, he had virtual interaction with members of the Sikh Americans. These interactions are in addition to the various virtual meetings he had with various business and professional groups and think tanks during this pandemic.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has taken historic decisions, to address the long-standing issues, he said.

As a democracy, our commitment to the welfare of our people, sabka saath sabka vikas sabka vishwas’ remains central to our governance. Prime Minister Modi has given the call for, Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, he said.

We want to build a self-reliant India and one that is integrated to the global economy. We want to seize opportunities to become part of the global value chain, Sandhu said.

As the oldest and largest democracies in the world, India and US are natural allies, he said asserting the relationship has enjoyed bipartisan support over the years.

President of the United States’ visit to India in February this year, elevated our relationship to a global comprehensive strategic partnership. This reflects the desire of both countries to work closely together, on a range of areas, Sandhu said.

The relations between India and the United States are underpinned by the shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, and rule of law. The India-US relationship has also enjoyed bipartisan support over the years. The Indian diaspora has played an important role, of projecting a positive image of India, as a vibrant, democratic, and pluralistic society and a valuable partner, for the United States, said the Indian Ambassador.

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