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PM thanks Trump on ventilators offer, says 'nations must work together'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday thanked the United States for its decision to donate ventilators to India, underlining how important it is for nations to work together during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Thank you @POTUS @realDonaldTrump. This pandemic is being fought collectively by all of us. In such times, it's always important for nations to work together and do as much as possible to make our world healthier and free from COVID-19. More power to India-US friendship," Modi tweeted. India's total coronavirus cases stand at 85,940, including 2752 deaths. The figure also includes 30,152 persons who have recovered or discharged

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund Trust had decided to allocate Rs 3,100 crore for fight against COVID-19. Out of Rs 3100 crore, approximately Rs 2,000 crore will be earmarked for purchase of ventilators and Rs 100 crore to support vaccine development.

A day before on Friday, President Donald Trump had announced his decision to loan ventilators to India, adding that both countries are also cooperating on developing a vaccine for the virus.

"I am proud to announce that the United States will donate ventilators to our friends in India. We stand with India and @narendramodi during this pandemic. We're also cooperating on vaccine development. Together we will beat the invisible enemy," he had said.

During a media briefing on Friday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, "The President just extolled our great relationship with India. India has been a great partner to us for quite some time. I am encouraged to hear ventilators to India."

However, the White House did not specify the number of ventilators that would be sent to India.

The United States has vouched to send ventilators to several countries hit by the virus that has claimed 307,666 lives and infected more than 4.5 million people globally.

While speaking to reporters before boarding Marine One on his way to Camp David on Friday, Trump said, "We are sending a lot of ventilators to India. I spoke to Prime Minister Modi. We are sending quite a few ventilators to India. We have tremendous supply of ventilators."

Referring to his visit to Delhi, Ahmedabad and Agra in February, Trump on Friday said, "India has been so great and as you know your prime minister has been a very good friend of mine. I just got back a short while ago from India and we are very much together."

He also acknowledged the "great" Indian-American scientists and researchers, who were contributing to the development of the coronavirus vaccine.

Last month, India had allowed export of hydroxychloroquine after Trump urged New Delhi to release supplies of the drug seen as a possible treatment for Covid-19 in America, the country whi has so far seen 87,530 deaths with over 1.4 million infected, according to the John Hopkins University data.

(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)

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