Coronavirus in India LIVE Updates: US is eager to rope in Indian investigators and experts to conduct clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 therapeutics, said top US health advisor Dr Anthony Fauci. US has meanwhile announced its plans to distribute vaccines across the world in which 25 million doses will be distributed immediately, including in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke to US Vice President Kamala Harris on the move and thanked the United States. As lockdown and curfew-like restrictions continue to be in place in most of India, Maharashtra on Thursday announced its unlock plan, only to make a U-turn later and say that restrictions will continue for now. Follow live updates on coronavirus news in India:

Set aside for India portion from Covid vaccine doses, Senator urges Biden

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged President Joe Biden to set aside for India a portion from 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, which the lawmaker said is now the epicenter of the pandemic. In a letter to Biden, Schumer said India helped the US in the hour of need earlier by sending much needed protective personnel equipment. “Now, it is time for us to give back and help the people of India,” he said in the letter dated June 1.

Delta Covid variant spreads, becomes dominant strain in UK

The Delta variant of COVID-19, or the B1.617.2 highly transmissible variant of concern first identified in India, has now become the dominant strain in the UK as infections rose by 5,472 in a week to hit a total of 12,431, health officials in Britain said on Thursday. Public Health England, which monitors all COVID variants in the country, said that experts now believe that Delta has now overtaken Alpha the variant first detected in the Kent region of England.

PM Modi invited Kamala Harris to India: Indian ambassador

Indian ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, said “Vice President Harris called Prime Minister Modi, it was a positive and warm conversation. PM Modi thanked VP Harris for assurance of vaccine supply to India. PM also appreciated support and solidarity from the US government. They talked about efforts to strengthen India-US partnership in vaccines and areas of global health and economic recovery and also discussed QUAD initiatives. PM Modi invited VP Harris to visit India after normalization of global health situation.”

US eager to involve Indian experts in Covid-19 trials: Dr Fauci

America’s top infectious disease specialist Dr Anthony Fauci has said that his country is eager to involve Indian investigators in global clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 therapeutics. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has a long history of collaboration with its counterpart agencies in India, Dr Fauci said during a conversation organised by the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum. “Under the long-standing Indo-US vaccine action programme, we will continue to work with India on research related to SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) vaccines. We also are eager to involve Indian investigators in sites in global clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of various COVID-19 therapeutics,” he said. Dr Fauci further said, “I am confident they will continue to do so in the future. India’s contributions to global scientific knowledge are well known to all. With strong governmental support and a vibrant biopharma private sector, this knowledge already is yielding solutions to COVID-19 prevention and care.”

PM Modi speaks to Kamala Harris, thanks US for vaccines

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday made her first phone call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inform him the decision of the Biden Administration to send tens of thousands of doses of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines to India. Vice President Harris spoke this morning to Prime Minister Modi, Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei and Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In a series of tweets, PM Modi said he thanked Kamala Harris for all the support and solidarity from the US government, businesses and the Indian diaspora. “We also discussed ongoing efforts to further strengthen India-US vaccine cooperation & potential of our partnership to contribute to post-Covid global health, economic recovery,” PM Modi said.

US to distribute 75% of its vaccine stock among world, Asia to get 7 million

US President Joe Biden has announced that the US will allocate 75% – nearly 1.9 crore of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses – of unused Covid-19 vaccines from its stockpile through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme to countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa as part of his administration’s framework for sharing 80 million (8 crore) vaccines globally by the end of June. According to a White House fact sheet, nearly 19 million vaccines will be shared through COVAX. Of these approximately six million for South and Central America to the following countries: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, as well as the Dominican Republic. Approximately seven million for Asia to the following countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands, it said. Approximately five million for Africa to be shared with countries that will be selected in coordination with the African Union. The White House said approximately six million will be targeted toward regional priorities and partner recipients, including Mexico, Canada, and the Republic of Korea, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as for United Nations frontline workers.


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