15:53 GMT04 March 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The US remains one of the coronavirus pandemic's biggest victims, and is rolling out assistance packages for other affected nations. US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been in touch for the effective coordination on the issue and exchange of essential services during this critical time.

    The United States has offered India $5.9 million in health assistance-related aid in effort to contain the spread of the disease and provide care to the affected.

    In its efforts to contain the pandemic, the US State Department said "this builds on a foundation of nearly $2.8 billion in total assistance, which includes more than $1.4 billion in health assistance, the United States has provided to India over the last 20 years."

    The US State Department also said that the amount is being used by India to take care of the COVID-19 patients, spread awareness among communities and to make surveillance effective.

    This comes after the United States announced it was withholding funding to World Health Organisation after calling the international organisation "China-centered".

    Earlier, the United States had announced a $174-million financial assistance package to assist 64 countries, including $2.9 million to India to contain the pandemic.

    The exchange of services has also been beneficial from India's standpoint, as it has supplied anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine to the US. It has been touted as a 'Game Changer' drug by the US President Trump in treatment of COVID-19 patients.

    India has so far 11,201 active cases of coronavirus and has witnessed 1,748 deaths due to the same. On the other hand, the total COVID-219 cases in the United States stand at 678,144 with over 34,000 deaths.

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    COVID-19, US, USAID, India
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