Envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu said India is a "reliable partner" to the US in COVID-19 fight. (File)
The Indian and American pharmaceutical companies are currently working together on at least three possible vaccines to fight coronavirus, India Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, said on Saturday.
Mr Sandhu said that India is a "reliable partner" to the US and has been able to fulfill whatever assistance Washington has required.
"Both International Centre for Medical Education and Research (ICMER) and here the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have been collaborating for a number of years. There is close cooperation exchange of information. Plus, as I said, collaboration, the at least three vaccines, on which Indian companies, and the United States companies are working together," Mr Sandhu said.
He further noted that this is not the first time when the two countries are collaborating over the exchange of information related to medical research. In fact, he said, about two or three years back the ICMR and the CDC had together developed a vaccine for another virus, named the rotavirus. "It has helped not only India but the United States as well along with many other countries," Mr Sandhu said.
The US and India have been closely cooperating during COVID-19 crisis and are providing all possible assistance to each other. The leaders of the two countries are in regular touch since the outbreak on the coronavirus.
The US has provided almost USD 5.9 million towards health assistance to India to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, India also exported a consignment of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets to the US, last month, after a request by President Donald Trump. The HCQ is an anti-malarial drug and has only been recommended as prophylaxis of COVID-19 as per the national taskforce for COVID-19. It is not a cure but this protocol has been recommended by the national task force for mostly frontline healthcare workers and has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted use in an emergency situation.
Apart from domestic use, India has also exported close to three million of HCQ tablets to more than 87 countries, garnering praise from heads of state of various nations.