New Delhi: As the Narendra Modi-led Centre ‘partially’ lifted ban on export of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that lifesaving medicines should be made available to Indians first. He also reacted strongly to the US president Donald Trump’s ‘retaliation threat’, asserting that ‘friendship isn’t about retaliation’. Also Read - A ‘Very Bad Gift’ From China, Says Donald Trump on Origin of Coronavirus
“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”, Rahul tweeted. Also Read - Engaged With China to Peacefully Resolve Ladakh Standoff: MEA on Donald Trump's Offer of Mediation
His reaction comes hours after the India ‘partially’ lifted ban on export of HCQ, as well as paracetamol and also announced that it would license the two drugs to ‘all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities.’ Also Read - After Trump's Offer to Mediate, UN Urges China, India to 'Avoid Any Action That Increases Tension at LAC'
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.
This comes a day after president Trump, while speaking at his daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t allow US’ order for hydroxychloroquine to come out, there may be a ‘retaliation’ to it.
“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?,” he had said.
On March 25, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade had banned the export of Hydroxychloroquine but said that certain shipments on humanitarian grounds may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.