AGENCIES, New Delhi/Washington: India on Tuesday partially eased restrictions on the export of anti-malarial drug hydroxycloroquine and paracetamol amid coronavirus pandemic and orders from other countries will be cleared only after meeting all domestic requirements.
Hydroxychloroquine tablet is seen as a viable therapeutic solution to cure Covid-19 disease that has so far affected over a million people across the world.
The Indian government initially banned the exports of hydroxycloroquine on March 25 to ensure adequate domestic supplies of the medicine. The rules were further tightened last week by barring exports of hydroxycloroquine and formulations made from it from special economic zones (SEZs) and export-oriented units (EOUs).
“Depending on availability of stocks of hydroxycloroquine after meeting domestic requirements, existing orders will be cleared,” an official said.
The development comes fter US President Donald Trump on Monday spoke of “retaliation” if India turned down his request to lift the hold on US orders of the antimalarial drug, which he has touted as a “game-changer” in the fight against the coronavirus despite its untested efficacy.
President Trump initially made the request for releasing the hold on hydroxychloroquine in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday. “I said we’d appreciate you allowing our supply to come out. If he doesn’t allow it to come out that’s okay but, of course, there may be retaliation,” the US President said at the daily White House briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.