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Trump Warns India Of Retaliation If Hydroxychloroquine Export Stops, Hails Brief Relief

After request to India to release Hydroxychloroquine, United States President Donald Trump has now warned of retaliation, if New Delhi stops the supply.

Trump

After request to India to release Hydroxychloroquine, United States President Donald Trump has now warned of retaliation, if New Delhi stops the supply. The Trump administration has made Hydroxychloroquine as part of its Strategic National Stockpile amid Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far claimed 10,871 lives in US and 366,994 people are infected by it. 

In his press briefing on Tuesday, Trump said that he has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the supply of Hydroxychloroquine adding that if India doesn't allow export, it may face retaliation. 

READ | COVID-19: US stocks 'Hydroxychloroquine' after it shows positive results on patients

Trump Requests Modi To Release Hydroxychloroquine 

Earlier on April 5, Trump requested India to release the Hydroxychloroquine tablets ordered by the US 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 a serious consideration," Trump said at his daily news conference at the White House on Saturday. "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.

READ | Central govt restricts sale of recommended Coronavirus prophylactic Hydroxychloroquine

India banned export

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. Additionally, it was allowed in case of shipments where irrevocable letter of credit were already issued or in case where full advance payment was received by the exporter in India against specific shipment.

The government also tightened the export ban norms on the anti-malarial drug by including special economic zones (SEZs) under its prohibition ambit to ensure there is no shortfall during Covid-19 crisis. Normally export ban or restrictions imposed by the government does not apply on these zones as well as EOUs, which are specially meant to promote outbound shipments from the country.

READ | PM Modi expresses solidarity with Boris Johnson, hopes for his early recovery from COVID

Why Hydroxychloroquine

Based on some initial results, the Trump administration is banking heavily on using Hydroxychloroquine for the successful treatment of coronavirus. According to Trump, the drug is yielding positive results. If successful, he told reporters that it would be a gift from heaven.

Following a quick provisional approval from the US Food and Drug Administration last Saturday, the malaria drug along with a combination of some other drug is being used in the treatment of about 1,500 COVID-19 patients in New York, the epicentre in the US. In anticipation of it being a successful drug in the treatment of coronavirus, the US has already stockpiled some 29 million doses of Hydroxychloroquine.

READ | From US to UAE, nations queue up to ask India to send them Hydroxychloroquine amid Covid

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