India will supply essential drugs to nations badly affected by COVID-19: MEA

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India will supply essential drugs to the countries that are badly affected by the pandemic, the government said on Tuesday.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said given the enormity of the COVID-19 pandemic, India has always maintained that the international community must display strong solidarity and cooperation.

“In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities. We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. We would therefore discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter,” Srivastava said.

The Ministry in a statement said, “Like any responsible government, our first obligation is to ensure that there are adequate stocks of medicines for the requirement of our own people. In order to ensure this, some temporary steps were taken to restrict exports of a number of pharmaceutical products.”

Earlier, US President Donald Trump hinted of ‘retaliation’ if India does not clear the export of Hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug used in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

Speaking from the White House during the coronavirus taskforce briefing, Trump said that he saw no reason why India would hold on the US order.