Lifesaving Drugs Should be Made Available to Indians First: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday that India must help all countries in their fight against coronavirus but lifesaving medicines should be made available to Indians first.

"Friendship isn't about retaliation. India must help all nations in their hour of need but lifesaving medicines should be made available to Indians in ample quantities first," he said on Twitter.

Gandhi's reaction came after the Ministry of External Affairs said that India would to export anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to several countries including those in the neighbourhood on a case-by-case basis in sync with its commitment to the international community to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Hydroxychloroquine is an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria.

Last month, India banned export of hydroxychloroquine in the midst of views that the drug could be used as potential anti-viral agent to protect healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients from the infection.

India has received requests from several other countries including its immediate neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal for supply of hydroxychloroquine.