Hydroxychloroquine will be supplied to countries badly hit by COVID-19: MEA

Vikash Aiyappa

New Delhi, Apr 07: India said that it would supply paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine to countries that are badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In view of the humanitarian aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependant on our capabilities, Anurag Srivastava, External Affairs ministry, spokesperson said.

He also said that India will also be supplying essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. We would therefore discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter, Srivastava further added.

India partially eases restrictions on export of hydroxycloroquine

India has decided that orders from other countries would be cleared only after the domestic requirements are met.

On March 25 the Indian government had banned the exports of hydroxycloroquine to ensure that there was adequate domestic supply. Last week, India further tightened the rules by barring exports of hydroxycloroquine and formulations made from it from special economic zones and export oriented units.

The exports of hydroxycloroquine and paracetamol will continue to be restricted, The existing orders would be cleared depending on the availability of stocks and after meeting domestic requirements. The department of pharmaceuticals and Ministry of External Affairs will decide on such allocations depending on the humanitarian situation related to the coronavirus.

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The Indian Council of Medical Research had said that hydroxycloroquine is found to be effective against coronavirus in laboratory studies and in vivo studies. Its use in prophylaxis is derived from available evidence of benefit as treatment and supported by pre-clinical data, the ICMR also said.

Earlier US President Donald Trump had spoken of retaliation if India turned down his request to lift the hold on US orders of the antimalarial drug. Trump has touted this drug as a game changer in the fight against coronavirus.

False: No govt order passed to punish those who post jokes on coronavirus

He said we would appreciate you allowing our supply to come out. If he does not allow it to come out, that would be okay, but, of course they may be retaliation, Trump said at the daily White House bringing on the outbreak of the virus.

During the conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump last week, the former had said that India would do all it could.

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