WION Exclusive: India gets request from 30 countries for hydroxychloroquine

WION New Delhi Apr 05, 2020, 08.39 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Does taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin prevent Covid-19? Photograph:( AFP )

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From the US to Latin America to Europe, the request has come from several places which shows India's importance in the global pharma sector. 

India has got requests from 30 countries for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug to fight COVID-19. Several world leaders have personally raised the request with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent conversation they had with him.

From the US to Latin America to Europe, the request has come from several places which shows India's importance in the global pharma sector. 

The government officials said while New Delhi is looking into the requests but will review domestic requirements first. Domestically India has allowed the use of hydroxychloroquine by medical and health care workers dealing with COVID-19 patients.

Indian PM Modi has spoken to 15 world leaders since the outbreak which includes German German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon, Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. One of the main aims of the conversation is to chalk out a global strategy to deal with the crisis. 

PM Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have spoken twice in the last few weeks. Readout from the Indian government on April 3rd talks said, "The leaders explored possible collaboration between India and Israel in fighting the pandemic, including by improving availability of pharmaceutical supplies"

India has confirmed that it has received American request for hydroxychloroquine and is looking into the request. US President Donald Trump had on Saturday said he has requested India to release hydroxychloroquine it had ordered.

US President said, "I called PM Modi of India...they make large amounts of hydroxychloroquine, very large amounts frankly. And I said, they had a hold, they have 1.5 billion people, and I said, I would appreciate it if they would release the amounts we have ordered and they are giving it serious consideration. India makes a lot of it."

The Indian read out of PM Modi-US president talks said both leaders "agreed to deploy the full strength of the India – US partnership to resolutely and effectively combat COVID-19" and exchanged notes on the "respective steps taken in each country for mitigating the health and economic impacts of the pandemic."

Trump has backed hydroxychloroquine as a solution to the COVID-19 crisis calling it "game-changer", though it is not back completely by the medical community. 

In an order issued on April 4th, India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade announced the total prohibition of the export of hydroxychloroquine & formulations made of hydroxychloroquine "without exception".

In an earlier order issued on March 25th, the DGFT had announced export hydroxychloroquine except under three exceptions which have been deleted in the new order.