10:32 GMT28 February 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): As the coronavirus caseload in India was inching toward 85,000, US President Donald Trump extended a helping hand and announced that Washington would donate ventilators to New Delhi. He also praised Narendra Modi and reaffirmed his friendship with the Indian prime minister.

    Hours after Donald Trump announced his decision to donate ventilators to India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his gratitude to the US President for his offer and said that it is essential for nations to work together to make the world healthier and free from COVID-19.

    While the exact number of the ventilators is yet to be confirmed by the Trump administration, media reports suggest about 200 mobile ventilators, each estimated to cost about Rs 1 million, will be sent to India. 

    Trump also mentioned in his tweet that India and the US were cooperating to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. 

    "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", Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One on his way to Camp David.

    With over 85,940 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in India, the country has a shortfall of ventilators. According to estimates, the country has 14,000 ventilators while efforts are also being made to develop home-made devices

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

    Trump has referred to Modi as a "good friend" on several occasions; however, he became more vocal about the relationship between the two countries after his two-day maiden visit to India in February. Despite trade tensions between the two countries, Trump heaped praise on Modi as an "exceptional leader, a great champion of India" in his speech in Gujarat. Trump signed defence, mental health, energy, and telecoms agreements during his visit to the South Asian country.


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