The US government is planning to “donate” 200 ventilators to India with the first tranche of 50 expected to arrive soon as part of efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, an American official said on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump had announced last week that the US will donate ventilators to India to treat the COVID-19 patients and help it fight the “invisible enemy”. Asked about reports that the ventilators may come at a cost for India, USAID Acting Director Ramona El Hamzaoui, during a tele-briefing with the media, asserted that it was a “donation”.
“The US government is planning to donate 200 ventilators to India. We expect the first tranche of 50 to arrive soon,” she said.
The USAID on behalf of the US and through the generosity of the American people and the innovation of the American private industry is providing access to medical supplies and ventilators to India and other countries, Hamzaoui said.
“We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Indian Red Cross Society and other relevant stakeholders in India and the US to assist in the delivery, transportation and placement of these donated ventilators,” she said.
Asked if the ventilators were being provided as part of some sort of a deal after India supplied hydroxychloroquine to the US, Hamzaoui, “I do not think it is a quid pro quo. It is a partnership.” With regard to India specifically, the USAID has announced USD 5.9 million in funding to combat COVID-19, including USD 2.9 million to help India provide care for the affected, disseminate essential public health messages to communities, strengthen case finding, contact tracing and surveillance, she said at the briefing organised by the US Embassy here.