India gives green signal to hydroxychloroquine order placed by Spain

WION New Dlehi Apr 08, 2020, 11.27 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Does taking hydroxychloroquine prevent COVID-19? Photograph:( AFP )

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Hydroxychloroquine has been hailed as a gamechanger drug in fighting COVID-19.

The Indian government has given a green signal to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) order placed by Spain. The order was placed two months ago.

The drug has been hailed as a gamechanger in fighting COVID-19.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a telephonic conversation with his Spanish counterpart Arancha González. A tweet on the talks by EAM said, "We agreed that effective COVID response requires global cooperation" and 'India has responded positively to the urgent pharmaceutical requirement of Spain."

While official notification in this direction is yet to be issued by the Indian government, India had recently announced that it will give licenced HCQ to countries which are worst impacted by COVID-19. The focus will also be on the neighbourhood and fulfilling prior contractual obligations for there is enough supply.

Spain has around 1,50,000 cases of COVID-19 with around 14,000 deaths and is one of the worst impacted countries not only Europe but around the world.

India has got a request from about 30 countries for hydroxychloroquine--from the US to Brazil to countries in Europe, Gulf and ASEAN. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday had a telephone conversation with US Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen E. Biegun regarding COVID-19 cooperation.

Sources said, "Both sides discussed ways to further enhance their cooperation to counter and control the pandemic including through the development of novel therapies and prophylactics against COVID-19 and ensuring the availability of essential medicines, diagnostic and medical equipment, and sharing of best practices/information."

US has also ordered HCQ from India. The matter was discussed between PM Modi and US President during their talks on April 4.