Covid-19: India clears first list of HCQ requests; US to get 3.5 mn tablets

Hydroxychloroquine has been on demand ever since it was named as a possible treatment for Covid-19.
India has shipped the first list of hydroxychloroquine drug to 13 countries — the US, Spain, Germany, Bahrain, Brazil, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives and Bangladesh — according to sources. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), best known for treating malaria and lupus erythematosus, is in great demand globally these days as it is believed to be a possible treatment for Covid-19, though it has yet to be proved through scientific evidence.  

Which country gets how much

According to sources, the US had asked for 4.8 million HCQ tablets, of which India has sanctioned 3.58 million tablets. News agency PTI quoted sources as saying that India had also sent 9 million tonnes of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) to the US in line with its request.

While Brazil has been shipped 0.53 mt of the API in the first consignment, that country, along with Canada, is expected to get 5 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine in the second.

Bangladesh will get 2 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine, Nepal 1 million, Bhutan 2 million, Sri Lanka 1 million (not in the first consignment), Afghanistan 500,000, and Maldives 2 million.

Germany, which will receive 1.5 mt API in the first consignment, will get 5 million tablets of HCQ in the second.

The other countries to receive hydroxychloroquine include Seychelles and Dominican Republic. The sources said India would be sending a total of 14 million tablets and 13.5 MT API.

Enough stock of hydroxychloroquine in India, says govt 

The government on Friday said that there was enough stock of HCQ in the country and it was taking all steps to ensure that there was no shortage of the drug in the domestic market.

Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal said that India has a stock of 32.8 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine, which was three times more than the projected requirement of 10 million tablets in the country for the coming week and that tie-ups had been made for additional supply of 20-30 million tablets for the future need.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing the export of HCQ. In a tweet he had also thanked India and the Indian people for the decision on HCQ, saying it will not be forgotten.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also thanked India for sending hydroxychloroquine.

Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid, on Friday also thanked India for approving his country's request for hydroxychloroquine. 

"Thank you Government of India, for approving Maldives' request for Hydroxychloroquine, which is being called a game changer in the fight against COVID-19. A friend in need is truly a friend indeed!" Abdulla Shahid said in a tweet.

Thank you government of India, for approving Maldives’ request for Hydroxychloroquine, which is being called a game changer in the fight against

— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) April 10, 2020

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