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India plays US' friend in need, allows hydroxychloroquine export to fight covid


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India plays US' friend in need, allows hydroxychloroquine export to fight covid

US President Trump had requested Modi to allow export of anti-malarial drug, thought to be effective against the virus

India had banned export of several key drugs last month as the source of a lot of bulk drugs used in them is China

NEW DELHI: Paying heed to US President Donald Trump’s call, India on Monday decided to allow export of hydroxychloroquine -- a drug seen as key in the treatment of the covid-19 pandemic -- on a “case by case" basis. It also allowed the export of paracetamol, a popular antipyretic, as well as some more drugs.

The decision follows a telephone conversation between Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. Besides the US, a number of other countries also have approached India to export hydroxychloroquine. Nearly half of US's supply of the drug, which as such is prescribed against malaria, comes from India.

At his White House briefing on covid-19 in the US, Trump said, “After the call today (Saturday) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is giving serious consideration to releasing the hold it put on a US order for hydroxychloroquine."

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