After facing immense pressure from the international community for remaining silent over India’s predicament, the US finally decided to send oxygen to India as soon as possible. It will also send tens of millions of vaccine doses abroad in stages.
Previously, as India suffered under the massive surge of Covid cases, the US refused to supply India with more vaccines or lift the embargo on the export of raw material needed to increase vaccine production in India.
Due to its refusal to help India, which is an important strategic partner, the US faced immense disapproval from the international community where the US government has been heavily criticized for being selfish and hypocritical.
However, the US is now going back on all its decisions as it will “immediately” make supplies of vaccine-production material available, as well as therapeutics, tests, ventilators, and protective equipment.
Read more: US to ramp up support for virus-hit India
Pictures have emerged showing over 300 oxygen concentrators being loaded at JFK airport in the US which were on their way to Delhi.
318 Philips Oxygen Concentrators loaded by @airindiain at JFK Airport on their way to Delhi.
An effort by the civil aviation sector to save every precious human life & further strengthen India’s spirited fight against COVID-19.@PMOIndia @MEAIndia @MoCA_GoI @MoHFW_INDIA pic.twitter.com/prr8kcn8Aq
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 26, 2021
Experts have claimed that this latest “U-turn” by the US is largely driven by geopolitical interests.
According to Tom Fowdy, who is a British political and international relations analyst, the US’ focus towards India is motivated by their geopolitical “Indo-Pacific” strategies, and the US wants to use India as a tool to attack China as opposed to a sincere concern for Indians.
Despite sharing a strong alliance, the US aid to India will remain limited. Even with the raw materials export ban partially lifted in the US, India is still unable to produce the vaccines it needs.
Global aid for India
As the US finally decides to help India, support and aid from other countries also came to ease the suffering of Indians.
The UK has already sent ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices to India. EU members are also due to send aid. In Brussels, the European Commission said it planned to send oxygen and medicine too.
Even Pakistan offered medical equipment and supplies and Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted prayers for a “speedy recovery” to India.
Meanwhile, India’s neighbor Bangladesh, announced that it will close its borders to prevent the spread of the virus.