Second US Air Force aircraft departs for India with COVID-19 aid

WASHINGTON: In line with President Joe Biden’s commitment to support India in its fight against the second wave of the pandemic, an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, the second US Air-force carrier with COVID-19 relief supplies, has departed for India.

The aircraft’s left Travis Air Force Base in California for New Delhi on Thursday (local time) as India fights the second wave of coronavirus which has stressed its healthcare system.

The C-17 Globemaster, carrying oxygen cylinders and test kits, will land at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, according to the US Transportation Command. On Wednesday, the United States sent the first shipment of the emergency COVID-19 relief material carrying 440 oxygen cylinders and regulators, 960,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests and 100,000 N95 masks.

“During a global crisis like this, US Transportation Command, powered by the dedicated men and women of the Joint Force, remains ready to leverage its unique capabilities to support our partners and allies,” Andre Kok, Public Affairs Planner for the U.S. Transportation Command told ANI. Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, on Thursday took to Twitter and thanked President Joe Biden for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with India.

“Two US aircrafts with Oxygen equipment & other Covid related supplies landing in India soon. Thank you @POTUS for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with India during this challenging time!,” he tweeted.

The US said it would send supplies worth more than USD 100 million to India as part of its commitment to using every resource at its disposal to support India’s frontline healthcare workers in their battle against COVID-19.

“Right now, a @usairforce C-5M Super Galaxy and a C-17 Globemaster III are en route to India from @Travis60AMW. They’re carrying oxygen cylinders/regulators, rapid diagnostic kits, N95 masks, and pulse oximeters. Thanks to @USAID for the supplies & to all involved in the effort.” Secretary of Defense Lyod Austin said on Twitter.

Earlier on April 26, President Biden spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed solidarity with India following the worsening COVID-19 caseload.

President Biden reaffirmed that the US is determined to support India’s efforts to contain the pandemic.

According to the Fact Sheet issued by the Biden administration on Wednesday (local time), the US has re-directed its own order of Astra Zeneca manufacturing supplies to India which will allow the country to make over 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and it will be providing the first tranche of a planned 20,000 treatment courses of the antiviral drug Remdesivir to help treat hospitalized patients.

Under the immediate emergency COVID-19 Assistance, Washington is providing 1700 oxygen concentrators, an initial delivery of 1,100 cylinders, multiple large-scale Oxygen Generation Units to support up to 20 patients each to India. (ANI)