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NEW DELHI : India has requested the US for cutting edge testing equipment to help early detection of covid-19, a person familiar with the development said Wednesday.

India made this request in a telephone conversation between Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and US Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen E. Biegun, the person cited above said. The conversation follows one between Prime minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on Saturday.

This comes as the number of covid-19 cases in India is approaching the 5,300 mark with 149 deaths according to the Ministry of health and family welfare. The Indian government is mulling an extension of a 21 day lockdown with several states seeking an extension of the measure given a jump in the number of infections.

“There was an exchange of views on the current situation with respect to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and associated challenges. Both sides discussed ways to further enhance their cooperation to counter and control the pandemic including through the development of novel therapies and prophylactics against COVID-19 and ensuring availability of essential medicines, diagnostic and medical equipment, and sharing of best practices/information," the person cited above said.

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