Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and US president Joe Biden had a "fruitful" telephonic conversation over the coronavirus situation in both countries.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi thanked President Biden for the support the US has provided to India. "Had a fruitful conversation with @POTUS @JoeBiden today. We discussed the evolving COVID situation in both countries in detail. I thanked President Biden for the support being provided by the United States to India," he tweeted.
The prime minister added that his discussion with Biden also emphasised the importance of "smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines."
"India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19," PM Modi said in another tweet.
My discussion with @POTUS@JoeBiden also underscored the importance of smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines. India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 26, 2021
"Today, I spoke with Prime Minister @narendramodi and pledged America's full support to provide emergency assistance and resources in the fight against COVID-19. India was there for us, and we will be there for them," Biden tweeted after his conversation with Prime Minister Modi.
Today, I spoke with Prime Minister @narendramodi and pledged America’s full support to provide emergency assistance and resources in the fight against COVID-19. India was there for us, and we will be there for them.— President Biden (@POTUS) April 26, 2021
The hotline between PM Modi and Biden comes after the Biden administration lifted an embargo on exports of essential raw materials that are needed to manufacture vaccines in India under a US first policy, which came under severe criticism both domestically and globally.
After countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, the UK, the UAE, Pakistan, Singapore, and Germany decided to help India, the US recently announced that it will send the raw material required to manufacture Covishield and medical supplies like therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) "immediately" to India.
The conversation included India's efforts to contain the second COVID-19 wave via expedited vaccinations and ensuring the supply of critical medicines, therapeutics and healthcare equipment.
Biden also conveyed his administration's solidarity with India during the phone call.
The US President affirmed that his administration is determined to support India's efforts by quickly deploying resources such as therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials needed for manufacturing Covishield vaccines, according to a statement by the Prime Minister's office.
While appreciating the offer of support from the US government, Prime Minister Modi also highlighted India's Vaccine Maitri programme and its participation in initiatives like the COVAX and the Quad Vaccine Initiative. He apprised Biden of India's initiative at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) seeking a relaxation in the norms of the TRIPS agreement to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines.
"Both leaders underlined the potential of the India-US partnership in vaccine development and supply to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and directed their respective officials to maintain close coordination and cooperation in their efforts in this domain," read the PMO statement.
According to a White House statement, PM Modi and Biden said that India and the US will work together to fight coronavirus.
"The President pledged America's steadfast support for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. In response, the United States is providing a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics," the White House said in its statement.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal