India’s unwavering commitment to fight the scourge of the Wuhan coronavirus within the country as well as help various others to contain the pandemic which has wreaked havoc across the globe is being recognised and lauded by one and all. US Congress leader, George Holding has lauded India for supplying Hydroxychloroquine and other vital supplies to the US and expressed happiness that the partnership between the two countries remains strong amidst the pandemic.
“The Republic of India is one of America’s closest and most important allies, and our relationship has always enjoyed bipartisan support in Washington, DC. I am thankful that India has stepped up as a leader in the fight against coronavirus, and am glad that our special partnership remains strong during this pandemic,” Congressman George Holding, the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, said.
In a statement, the Republican lawmaker from North Carolina also appreciated the role being played by Indian-American non-profit organizations and community organizations in the pandemic related work in the US.
“On the US soil, Sewa International (an India-based service organization) has been working tirelessly to donate masks, provide meals to first responders, and ensure vulnerable populations have access to food and medicine throughout the country,” Holding furthered.
“Sewa has also provided support systems by hosting informative conference calls, while Indo-American hoteliers have stepped up and donated temporary housing to Indian international students in the United States”, Holding added.
Holding said the Indian government has been hard at work both in their country and in the United States to help the international community fight COVID-19. “It’s amazing to see how one of our closest and most important partners can have such an impact in our country from nearly ten thousand miles away,” he said.
Together, the Indian and US governments have been able to identify measures necessary to propel us forward in the fight against this pandemic, Holding said.
India has shown that they are committed to keeping key supply and logistics chains open for pharmaceutical and medical products – benefitting both the United States and India’s own regional neighbours, he added.
“In early April, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and President Trump worked together to overcome the challenges that international trade faces amidst national lockdowns. Since then, India has provided the United States with vital supplies such as mass quantities of Hydroxychloroquine,” said the Republican lawmaker.
Thanking Indian authorities for facilitating the return of more than 1500 American citizens back to their country from India, the lawmaker observed that the US-India partnership has also directly impacted the lives of many Americans.
“It prides me to see that the sense of community supersedes borders and cultures during a time of international crisis,” Holding said.
The US President 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.
UN Chief salutes PM Modi for helping over 55 coronavirus-hit countries
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.
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.