Responding to a question on the reaction of UN chief Antonio Guterres to India’s efforts to send Hydroxychloroquine and other supplies to other countries amidst the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said he ‘salutes’ India and other countries helping others in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
After India sent supplies of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to several nations, including the US, the spokesperson of the UN chief said at the daily press briefing on Friday: “The Secretary-General calls for global solidarity in this struggle against the virus, and that means that every country who is in a position to help another country should. And we salute those countries that are doing so”.
The US and other countries thank Modi for his help:
US President Donald Trump on April 8 thanked India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing the export of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to the United States a day after India formally announced that it was easing the blanket ban on exports and would consider its export on a case-by-case basis with approval from the ministry of external affairs. The exports were allowed after ensuring sufficient stock for domestic usage.
President Trump had praised PM Modi for his strong leadership and said that India’s help during this crisis “will not be forgotten”.
Amidst reports of US requesting India to ease export of Hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients, there were misleading reports across Indian media claiming that US President Trump had warned Modi government of ‘retaliation’ if it did not ease restrictions on the export of the drug. However, the claims of Trump retaliation was debunked by OpIndia.
Similarly, Special Envoy from the Dominican Republic to UN Ambassador Jose Singer and President of Security Council for April expressed gratitude to India for the donation of 200,000 hydroxychloroquine tablets to his country.
“Dear Ambassador! My country the Dominican Republic is so grateful for this help in challenging times!!!” Singer had said in response to a tweet by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin on India’s donating the medicines to the Caribbean nation.
Countries receiving hydroxychloroquine supplies from India:
India is in the process of supplying hydroxychloroquine to 55 coronavirus-hit countries as grants on humanitarian grounds as well as on a commercial basis.
A number of countries including the US, Mauritius and Seychelles have already received the drug in the past few days while several others will get it by the weekend.
According to sources, India is also sending the drug to neighbouring countries like Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh Nepal, the Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
It will also be supplying the anti-malaria drug to other countries like Zambia, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Congo, Egypt, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ecuador, Jamaica, Syria, Ukraine, Chad, Zimbabwe, France, Jordan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman and Peru.
In addition to the drug, India has sent its military health professionals to Kuwait and Maldives to help deal with the pandemic caused by the Chinese virus.
India lifted ban on export of hydroxychloroquine:
On April 7 India had lifted the blanket ban it had put on the export of hydroxychloroquine and said that it would grant the license of export in appropriate quantities to all the neighbouring nations who are depended on India’s capabilities for production of hydroxychloroquine.
It is notable here that India had banned the anti-malaria drug’s export back on 25 March. After that USA, SAARC nations, UAE, Indonesia and several European and Latin American nations had requested India to lift the ban and allow export.
On 27 March, the Department of Pharmaceuticals had asked India’s drug prices regulator to examine if India has enough stocks to fulfil domestic demand as meet export demand as well.
Hydroxychloroquine is an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria, is seen as a viable therapeutic solution by many nations for the Wuhan coronavirus. India is the biggest producer and exporter of hydroxychloroquine and its pharmaceutical components in the world, an anti-malarial drug that is in much demand for the potential use in helping treat patients of the novel coronavirus.