Covid-19: India partially lifts ban on export of paracetamol and HCQ

Hydroxychloroquine is an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria
With coronavirus (Covid-19) spreading at a rapid pace in the country and the neighbourhood, India has partially eased restrictions on export of paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine. It has decided to licence paracetamol & Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on India's capabilities, the Ministry of External Affairs announced.

HCQ is the same drug that US President Donald Trump had sought from India and warned of retaliation if India did not supply the drug. MEA said, "We will also be supplying these 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".

"India has always maintained that the international community must display strong solidarity and cooperation. This approach also guided our evacuation of nationals of other countries," Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said.

President Trump had called Prime Minister Modi, requesting him to supply the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine that is being used to treat Covid-19 patients and as prophylactic by the frontline health care workers deployed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Modi government had imposed a ban on export of the drug since the coronavirus outbreak hit India.

President Donald Trump has warned India that the US may retaliate if it did not export anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine despite his personal request, saying he would be surprised in case of a negative outcome as New Delhi has good relations with Washington.

Hydroxychloroquine, an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria, is seen as a viable therapeutic solution by President Trump to coronavirus that has so far killed more than 10,000 Americans and infected over 360,000 within weeks.

"I would be surprised if he would, you know, because India does very well with the United States," Trump told reporters during a press briefing at the White House on Monday.

Last month, India imposed a ban on the export on Hydroxychloroquine, on which Trump is now banking heavily for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

India has received similar requests from several other countries including its immediate neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal. India had said that it is reviewing its export ban order.

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