India says has enough stocks of HCQ, anti-malarial drug to treat severe COVID-19 patients

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India said on Tuesday that its stocks of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) were enough to meet the export commitments.

Private companies had been contracted in a bid to help countries badly affected by novel coronavirus pandemic. “With regard to paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), they will be kept in a licensed category and their demand position would be continuously monitored,’’ said Ministry of External Affairs spokesman, Anurag Srivastava.

“However, the stock position could allow our companies to meet the export commitments that they had contracted.’’ “We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations, who have been particularly badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We would, therefore, discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter,’’ The spokesman added. He also said that, in view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, India had decided to licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all its neighbouring countries, who depend on Indian capabilities. The development came after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened India of “retaliation” if it did not supply HCQ to the United States, which is badly affected by the pandemic with over 10,910 deaths and 367,461 positive cases reported so far. India’s supply of HCQ to the U.S. had emerged as one of the major issues ever since Trump made the request to Modi over the phone on Saturday when India imposed a complete ban on its export “without any exception”. Hydroxychloroquine is one of the drugs recommended to treat severe COVID-19 patients and frontline healthcare workers.

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