Amid the surge in Coronavirus cases around the globe, a total of 55 countries has been approved to get Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drug out of which 21 countries will get it on a commercial basis and others on a grant, that is in very small quantities. India has also approved the supply of HCQ to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), sources said.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said that the government has more than enough stock of HCQ for meeting the current requirement. It had said that the Centre has done proper preparation and planning with respect to current and future requirements of the drug.
Sources further said that the total number of Indians infected with COVID-19 abroad is 3,036 from 53 countries while Indians infected with COVID-19 who died abroad are 25. "Our advice is to stay put and reach out to the Indian missions which will provide maximum support."
So far, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA's) 24-hour COVID-19 control room has received 18,000 emails from across the world, 5,000 phone calls and 2,000 public grievances. India has repatriated 35,000 foreign nationals from 38 countries, as per sources.
Notable Cardiac Surgeon Dr Ramakanta Panda in an exclusive telephonic interview with Republic World on Saturday shed light on the usage of Hydroxychloroquine and its efficiency to combat Coronavirus. Dr Panda stated that at present, HCQ is being used on a trial basis and there is no strong evidence that it can combat the virus. He informed that the drug is being given to two specific groups of people who are the most prone to COVID-19.
Speaking to Republic World, Dr Panda said, "This particular medicine is being given on a mere experimental basis rather than based on a strong ground of evidence. So that is a reason we do not know whether it is effective when a person has contracted the disease. It is currently recommended for people who are at a high risk of contracting the virus. i.e. basically two groups: 1. Healthcare workers 2. Families of those looking after a COVID patient."
As of date, 10477 active cases have been reported of the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) - 1488 have been discharged and Maharashtra reported the highest at 2916. 414 deaths have been reported till date. India has suspended all visas and barred travel from Afghanistan, Philippines, EU, UK, China, Malaysia and mandatory 14-day quarantine from several other countries. PM Modi has extended the lockdown till May 3, with a relaxation possibility in non-COVID hotspots after April 20.
(With inputs from ANI)