New Delhi: Amid growing pressure from several countries including the United States, Indian authorities on Tuesday partially lifted the ban on the export of paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), claimed to be effective to treat coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, India is the world’s largest producer and exporter of HCQ. Also Read - We Will Not Learn! French NGO Collects Masks-Gloves And Other Medical Waste in Mediterranean Sea-Bed Amid COVID-19
“In view of the humanitarian aspects of COVID19 pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol & Hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities”, the MEA said in a statement. Also Read - Horse Which Ferried its Owner from Kashmir to Rajouri Placed Under 'Home Quarantine'
It added,”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.” Also Read - COVID-19 Scare at SAI Headquarters, Premises Sanitised
In an order issued on April 04, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade had announced the total prohibition of the export of hydroxychloroquine & formulations made of hydroxychloroquine “without exception”. Besides the US, India has got requests from 30 countries for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug to fight COVID-19.
Several world leaders have personally raised the request with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent conversation they had with him.
Earlier on Monday, US President warned of a possible ‘retaliation’ if the order of HCQ was not released.
Addressing his daily coronavirus taskforce briefing at the White House, Trump said, “I spoke to PM Modi Sunday morning and I said we appreciate it that you are allowing our supply of hydroxychloroquine to come out, if he doesn’t allow it to come out, that would be okay. But of course, there may be retaliation, why wouldn’t there be?”
(With inputs from Sidhant Sibal, Zee Media)