India allows export of drugs linked to Covid-19 treatment to ‘badly-hit’ countries amid row with US

in #india2 years ago

New Delhi has agreed to ship Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to the nations most impacted by Covid-19 and urged not to “politicize” the issue after US President Donald Trump threatened “retaliation” for its drug export ban.

“In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would license paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to all our neighboring countries… dependent on our capabilities,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Tuesday.

We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic.

Srivastava warned against “any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicize the matter.”

FILE PHOTO: A man walks between barricades set up outside Elmhurst Hospital during the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, April 6, 2020. © Reuters / Eduardo Munoz

The anti-malarial drug HCQ is currently under clinical trial as a possible treatment for the coronavirus. It is among the drugs the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking at as a promising therapy for the disease.

Over the weekend, India banned the shipping of the drug overseas. Trump criticized this move, warning that New Delhi may face “retaliation” unless it reverses the export ban.

During his daily press briefings, Trump, too, has touted hydroxychloroquine as a possible cure for Covid-19. The US has the largest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world, with more than 368,000 people testing positive for the disease, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins
University. More than 10,000 patients have died.