Biden Govt removes all bureaucratic hurdles
   Date :28-Apr-2021

Biden Govt removes_1 
By Lalit K Jha :
Countries move into mission mode to help India
THE Biden administration seems to have adopted a mission mode approach and removed all bureaucratic hurdles to help India in its fight against deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has spread like wildfire across the country with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several States are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds. Various wings of the US Government, including the Department of Defence, Department of Health and Human Resources, the State Department, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and US Trade Representatives have been activated to not only identify India’s need, but also to remove all the bureaucratic hurdles and ensure that all medical requirements start being airlifted to India as soon as possible.
“We are in close touch with Indian officials at all levels. We are also closely coordinating with our allies, friends, and Quad partners about how we can collectively support India in its hour of need,” a senior administration official told reporters, soon after President Joe Biden had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Given that there is not enough of the supply for the entire global manufacturing effort and in light of the current crisis, we, the United States, are diverting our order to India,” the official said. “We did not intervene with the manufacturer to make them fill the Serum Institute’s order; we don’t have that power. Instead, what we are doing is diverting our own order of our own supplies to the Serum Institute for their manufacturing,” the official explained. USAID and CDC will provide technical assistance and materials, and strengthen vaccine communications related to confidence in vaccination, and support of vaccine readiness at the national and subnational levels.
Observing that India was facing a huge surge right now, a third senior official said that there’s a lot of support that the Biden administration is currently exploring and what they will provide that will be helpful on the ground immediately. “At India’s request, we’re exploring options to provide oxygen and related supplies. These are resources that India has specifically requested and are very high on their priority list.,” the official said. According to the official, the Department of Defence is working on oxygen generation systems, including larger-scale as well as smaller-scale units. They are also exploring the provision of field oxygen generation systems, which the US has used in its own field hospitals to provide oxygen for 50 to 100 beds.
“They are shorter- and longer-term options that we’re providing in the immediate, and then we plan to continue to be engaged over the longer term,” the official said. The Pentagon is also exploring options to provide oxygen concentrations and ventilators. The US is in technical discussions with India to ensure that the equipment that US supplies will connect to devices in India. The US will also provide training associated with all of these requests as needed. “The US Government is also preparing to help with transportation of these and other supplies to India,” said the official. The administration has identified US commercial suppliers of Remdesivir that are immediately available to help relieve the suffering of COVID-19 patients in India. It has identified rapid diagnostic testing supplies, as well as personal protective equipment, that will be available to be transferred to India immediately, the official said. Further, the CDC, working with USAID, will urgently deploy a strike team to India which will include public health experts to work in close collaboration with the US embassy in New Delhi, with India’s Health Ministries and experts, and with India’s Epidemic Intelligence Service staff.