India has sent 2.8 million hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets and 1.9 million paracetamol tablets as part of its assistance to other countries to fight the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed on Thursday, April 30. India has also provided HCQ and paracetamol tablets on a commercial basis to 87 countries, added the MEA.
HCQ is a common anti-malarial drug that, in some quarters, has been touted as a possible “miracle drug” in the fight against COVID-19. India is the largest producer of HCQ.
"In terms of numbers, we have already provided 2.8 million HCQ tablets as grant assistance to 25 countries. We have also provided paracetamol, about 1.9 million tablets, in another form to 31 countries. In addition, consignments of HCQ and paracetamol are being sent to 87 countries on a commercial basis," MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday. He added that these supplies are taking place both as humanitarian aid as well as on a commercial basis.
India had initially blocked the export of HCQ, only to partially lift the ban days later on humanitarian grounds. The government had earlier said that it has listed 13 countries for the supply of HCQ including the US, Spain, Germany, Bahrain, Brazil, Israel, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, and Bangladesh.
India is a major producer of the anti-malarial drug and the Health Ministry had earlier this month stated that the government has more than enough stock of HCQ for meeting domestic requirements. Health workers involved in the treatment of coronavirus patients can use the drug as a preventive measure against COVID-19, following the Health Ministry's guidelines.
(With ANI inputs)