Coronavirus: India Lifts Partial Ban On Hydroxychloroquine After Donald Trump’s Retaliation Warning

The government has decided to lift a partial ban on hydroxychloroquine after US President Donald Trump requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to export the drug to aid America’s fight against the deadly Coronavirus disease.

Official sources quoted by news agency IANS that the government will clear the existing orders immediately on humanitarian grounds. The Centre, sources said, will not ban but restrict the export of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol depending on the availability of stock after meeting domestic requirements.

The Ministry of External Affairs and pharma industry will decide on such allocations depending on the humanitarian crisis, sources said.

US President Donald Trump has warned India of retaliation if it doesn’t lift its hold on the export of hydroxychloroquine tablets, the anti-malaria drug, used in the treatment of coronavirus patients. During a press briefing on coronavirus, Trump said that he has spoken to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the supply of hydroxychloroquine to the USA. According to sources, domestic consumption of tablets is a priority for India. Depending on the availability of hydroxychloroquine stocks, existing orders will be cleared, they stated.

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.

The US as of now has the highest number of the novel coronavirus cases in the world, with over 367,000 cases of infections and over 10,800 deaths. Relatively, India has managed to contain the pandemic with 136 deaths and over 4,700 cases of infections.

On Monday, the Donald Trump administration provided $2.9 million in aid to India to help fight against the novel coronavirus disease.

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