India has cleared the first list of 13 countries who will get hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), with neighbourhood getting priority
Overall India will be giving hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol to 25 countries. India has given approval for export of 14 million tablets of Hydroxychloroquine.
Speaking at the daily press briefing of the Indian government, Dammu Ravi, MEA’s nodal person for COVID-19 said, “HCQ is in high demand globally. Lot of request for HCQ already there, several countries have made the request, taking in the view domestic requirements, domestic stock availability.. the decision was taken by a group of the minister to release surplus medicine for export purposes. The first list of countries have been approved and products have started to leave, working on second list and then the third list.”
India is providing humanitarian aid like Pharma (HCQ & paracetamol) to SAARC & Indian Ocean countries like Mauritius & SeychellesIn.
Additionally, India is also providing humanitarian aid to countries in Africa and Latin America. Outside these regions, New Delhi is currently processing requests for medicines (HCQ/Paracetamol) from countries based on availability and would be supplying them on a commercial basis.
Asked about the criteria India is following for countries, Dammu Revi said, “Request for countries existed for HCQ, we analysed the request. Sometimes demand can be very high, we need to rationalise. This drug is under high demand and all countries impacted by COVID-19 are asking for it. So it was discussed internally and in consultation with pharma dept, health and various others in the empowered committee.”
“It is first come, first basis, but the neighbourhood is very important, countries very vulnerable. So we went through the process of making the assessment, who would need first..it is an ongoing process. Doing it in a balanced and rationalizing demand of various countries,” Revi added.
While HCQ remains on the banned list of export products, India is giving the drug only on licence both for export and aid. India needs one crore HCQ tablets, and currently has 3.28 crore tablets and 1-2 crore tablets can be produced. Indian authorities have allowed the use of HCQ for frontline workers only and under the prescription of a medical physician.
Indian PM Modi has been personally approached by world leaders for HCQ. On Friday PM Modi spoke to Japan PM Abe and Nepali PM KP Sharma Oli. Three world leaders, US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair M. Bolsonaro and Israeli’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu have personally thanked Indian PM and people of India on twitter.