There is close cooperation between India and the United States over the exchange of information related to the development of vaccines to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu said on Saturday, and added that the Indian and the American companies are currently working together on at least three vaccines.
Sandhu said that the corona crisis has presented India with an unexpected opportunity to expand its manufacturing base and play a 'significant' role in the recovery process of the global supply chains. "I think the American investors are smart, American companies are smart, and they are moving to connect and already at the company level, it's being done," he said.
The Ambassador told ANI that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Center's for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have been collaborating with each other for a number of years. "In fact, about two or three years back, we together developed a vaccine for another virus. It is called rotavirus. It has helped, not only in India but also in the United States and many other countries," he said.
"So this time around too, there is close cooperation over the exchange of information related to the pandemic. Plus, as I said, there are at least three vaccines, on which Indian companies and the US companies are currently working together," the Ambassador added.
Besides that, the Ambassador said that India is an important part of the supply chain, and this particular crisis has certainly shown to the United States, if not the world over, that India is a reliable partner. "Whatever assistance they (America) required in terms of the supply chain, India has been able to fulfill that, and this has been acknowledged by the highest level in the US government," he stated further.
A consignment of hydroxychloroquine from India reached the United States last month, days after New Delhi lifted a ban on the export of the anti-malaria drug, seen as a possible cure for COVID-19, to the US and some other countries on humanitarian grounds. The export of the drug was cleared by Indian authorities upon the request of US President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, the Ambassador said that the corona crisis has presented India with an unexpected opportunity to expand its manufacturing base and play a 'significant' role in the recovery process of the global supply chains.
"Economically, I mean, in challenges also come out opportunities. As I mentioned to you that this time is of particular challenge for the United States and India. We have stood together. Especially in the economic aspects, definitely it has provided an opportunity for both the Indian companies as well as the American ones for developing a stronger bond. Now, irrespective of China, India has been an attractive destination. And certainly, in the post covert time, India is going to be a significant part of the recovery process," the Ambassador told ANI.
"And I think the American investors are smart, American companies are smart, and they are moving to connect and already at the company level, it's being done. The Government of India has also taken the initiative, and it is laying out the carpet. We have earlier also had FDI investments. I'm sure, there'll be a stronger bond between our two countries," he added.