Donald Trump and PM Modi held a telephonic conversation on Saturday, wherein the US President asked the Indian premier to release the Hydroxychloroquine tablets ordered by the Western country to treat the growing number of coronavirus patients in the country after India recently banned the drug for exports. Trump said he spoke to Prime Minister Modi on Saturday morning and made a request to release Hydroxycholoroquine - an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria - for the US.
"I called Prime Minister Modi of India this morning. They make large amounts of Hydroxychloroquine. India is giving it serious consideration," Trump said at his daily news conference at the White House on Saturday. India''s Directorate General of Foreign Trade on March 25 banned the export of Hydroxychloroquine but said that certain shipments on humanitarian grounds may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
With more than three lakh confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and over 8,000 fatalities, the US has emerged as the global epicentre of the deadly coronavirus disease to which there has been no cure. Trump said he would appreciate if India releases the amount of Hydroxychloroquine that the US has ordered. "And I said I would appreciate if they (India) would release the amounts that we ordered,” he said, without mentioning that quantity of Hydroxychloroquine that has been ordered by US companies from India. Based on some initial results, the Trump administration is banking heavily on using Hydroxychloroquine for the successful treatment of coronavirus.
The prime minister and the US president exchanged views on the pandemic and its impact on the global well-being and economy, a statement issued by the Prime Minister''s Office (PMO) said. Stressing on the special relationship between the two countries, PM Modi reiterated India''s solidarity with the US in overcoming this global crisis together. "The two leaders agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to resolutely and effectively combat COVID-19," the PMO said.
Had an extensive telephone conversation with President @realDonaldTrump. We had a good discussion, and agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to fight COVID-19.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 4, 2020
PM Modi and Trump also exchanged notes on the steps taken in their countries for mitigating the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The two leaders also touched upon the significance of practices such as yoga and ayurveda for ensuring physical and mental well-being in these difficult times, the PMO statement said. They agreed that their officials would remain in close touch as regards the global health crisis, it added. The discussion came at a time when both countries are in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(With PTI inputs)