Context:

Around 15 countries including the US, Russia, France and the United Kingdom are rushing critical emergency use equipment to enable India counter the COVID-19’s deadly second wave.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India and its Neighbourhood, Foreign Policies affecting India’s interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Assistance from the U.S.
  2. Assistance from Other Countries
  3. India’s Vaccine Diplomacy Plan before the second wave

Assistance from the U.S.

  • Out of the promised international assistance, a bulk is expected from the United States – which is likely to include emergency medical care units, oxygen-related supplies, vaccine-related items and therapeutics – following President Joe Biden’s telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • An important part of support from the United States will include raw materials required for production of the vaccines here.
  • In that regard, US will approve supply of filters that are necessary in the production of Covishield vaccines.
  • The U.S. is also expected to release at least 10 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine after the authorities give a green signal for export to India.
  • In addition, to vaccines and oxygen-related items, agencies of India and the U.S. will collaborate more closely in the coming months to defeat the virus. Under the Quad Vaccine Initiative, US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is funding a substantial expansion of manufacturing capability for BioE, the vaccine manufacturer in India.

Assistance from Other Countries

  • Assistance from the leading economies of the world is expected to reach in multiple phases with France this week sending eight large Oxygen Generating Plants and a large number of items like respirators and electric syringe pushers.
  • The French government is on track to send 5 liquid oxygen containers.
  • Germany will make an oxygen production plant available for the 3 months (May-July) along with 120 ventilators and protective equipment like KN95 masks.
  • Australia too announced that it will send 500 ventilators, 1 million surgical masks, 500,000 P2 and N95 masks, and other protective items for the frontline health workers.
  • 4 cryogenic oxygen containers were sourced from Singapore.
  • Saudi Arabia has sent 80 MT of liquid oxygen which is currently en route via sea.
  • Thailand and the United Arab Emirates have sent 4 and 6 cryogenic oxygen tanks and 800 oxygen concentrators were sent by Hong Kong, China.
  • Ireland is on track to send 70 oxygen concentrators.

India’s Vaccine Diplomacy Plan before the second wave

  • Shipments of vaccines were sent by India to the Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and the Seychelles.
  • The only exception to India’s regional vaccine diplomacy would be Pakistan, which has cleared the AstraZeneca vaccine for use, but has neither requested nor discussed any doses from India.
  • By financing shipments from India’s assistance programmes for cash-strapped neighbouring countries desperately needing such assistance, India shall earn the long-term goodwill of its immediate neighbours and across Indian ocean countries.
  • Beyond India’s immediate neighbours, South Korea, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and South Africa have all shown inclinations to purchase vaccines from India which is estimated to be 60% of the global supply of inoculants.
  • If India becomes the manufacturing hub to corona vaccines across the world, it shall give a boost to the GDP of India.

-Source: The Hindu

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