After Trump’s warning, India partially lifts export ban on hydroxychloroquine

India, which is the largest producer of the drug had banned its export on March 25

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ICMR has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine  as a preventive medication for healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19

Two days after US President Donald Trump urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the export of hydroxycloroquine, the Centre has partially lifted the export ban on the anti-malarial drug, which Trump touts is a ‘game-changer’ in fighting the deadly COVID-19 that has claimed more than 1.2 million lives globally.

India, which is the largest producer of the drug had banned its export on March 25 and the restrictions were tightened on April 4 to prioritise on domestic requirement. As reported by The Print, the export of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol will be now taken on a “case-to-case basis”, depending on the availability of stock after meeting domestic requirements.

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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Tuesday (April 7) said that India would licence paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to all its neighbouring countries dependent on India. “We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic,” NDTV quoted him as saying.

With this decision, India will have to fulfil all the requests from countries such as the US, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Israel, the UK, Australia and the Gulf countries, among others.

The development comes hours after Trump in a press interaction at the White House on Monday, said that the US may retaliate if India doesn’t oblige to its requests to export hydroxychloroquine.