India-US working to find cure for coronavirus together, says Indian envoy Sandhu

indica News Bureau-
Reassuring the citizens of the USA and India, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s Ambassador to the US on Thursday, said that the two countries are tirelessly working together to control and cure COVID-19 that has taken more than 20,000 lives globally.
As per a report in News 18, Sandhu said, “In the present context of COVID-19 pandemic, close collaboration in the areas of diagnostics and therapeutics of the disease is underway.”
“India and the United States have had a long-standing productive partnership in the healthcare sector, especially between the research institutions and industries of both countries, he added.

According to reports, under the existing bilateral collaboration in the healthcare sector- the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the US shared the important reagents with the Translational Health Science Technology Institute in Gurgaon. This bilateral co-operation can lead to the development of new therapeutics and testing reagents for the COVID-19.

To engage and enhance the capabilities for the COVID-19 test in India, India-based vendors of American companies are in touch with the Indian Council of Medical Research too. The deadly coronavirus has drastically spread around the world, infecting 471,518 people and causing 21,293 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker.

“The US will work shoulder to shoulder with India to combat the COVID19 outbreak. Together, we can safeguard our citizens and people everywhere,” Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Alice G Wells, said in a tweet referring to the cooperation between the two countries.

The United States, she said, stands united with India and echoes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to keep up their fighting spirits.

The Indian envoy added President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Modi during their meeting in New Delhi last month also discussed cooperation and collaboration in the sector of coronavirus.

Trump and Modi also hailed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that seeks to promote access to high quality, safe, effective and affordable medications for US and Indian consumers.

In 2012, the Center for Disease Control collaborated with the National Centre for Disease Control to establish Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Programme, News 18 reported.

This post-graduate field-training program, modeled after the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), has expanded to two additional hubs at the WHO India Country Office and at the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Epidemiology.

According to the CDC, it has helped strengthen national surveillance for detecting and responding to healthcare-associated infections and emerging antimicrobial resistance threats in health facilities in 22 states.

A public-private partnership helped increase the capacity to diagnose, treat, and care for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients through virtual platforms. In Mumbai, the CDC helped the municipality and local partners, launch an Airborne Infection Control Unit to reduce healthcare-associated transmission of MDR-TB.

The CDC has helped India in implementing a surveillance system in 35 hospitals and 22 states for healthcare-associated infections. It has evaluated 346 laboratory facilities across the country to identify needs and trained more than 1,700 laboratorians on quality diagnostic testing/reporting of priority diseases.