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India Engaged With Countries Including US for Coordinated Response to Covid-19, Says Envoy Sandhu

India remains engaged with other countries including the US and Israel for a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian envoy here has said.

India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu, in a conversation with the influential American Jewish Committee (AJC), said that the Indian leadership is in a close contact with its friends and ready to step forward to help them.

“As we battle this pandemic, India remains engaged with other countries including the United States and Israel in an effort to partner towards a coordinated response. Whether it is the form of ensuring supply of essential medicines or sharing expertise and know how or joint scientific collaborations, India stands ready to battle this pandemic shoulder to shoulder with our friends,” Sandhu said in his interaction with the AJC.

As a country of 1.3 billion people, India faces unique challenges in combating this common enemy, he said.

India has so far managed to slow the initial spread of the contagion since the first confirmed case in the country on January, 30.

India, he said, has taken preemptive measures under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enforce a total lockdown.

Sandhu said that India and the US are global strategic partners with a multifaceted relationship which encompasses almost every aspect of human endeavor.

“Our defence and energy partnership has grown over the years as has our scientific collaboration. As democracies with shared values and global strategic partners, we are in a unique position today, walking together to combat the the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

Jason Isaacson, AJC Associate Executive Director for Policy and Managing Director of Government, said that the US is deeply indebted to the Indian healthcare workers who are such an important part of the health system of the country.

The Indian medical device industry, the pharmaceutical industry continue to be essential, not only in India, but to the world, he said.

The world, he noted, has come to rely on these devices and protective equipment and pharmaceuticals from India, he said.

Sandhu said India has assumed the leadership role in “this very, very deadly” crisis.

“We took not only proactive measures in India, but we also took active measures in the region and the world at large,” the Indian envoy added.

The deadly coronavirus, which originated in China late last year, has so far killed more than two lakh people and infected over three million globally. The largest number of them are in the US: more than 56,000 deaths and over one million infections.

In India, mainly because of the early and aggressive preventive measures, the fatalities have remained comparatively low at 934 and infections at 29,435.

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