India pulls a COVID drug act: Sends planeloads of medicines to neighbours

After a careful assessment, India eased the export restriction on Hydroxychloroquine and planned on sharing it with the US and other nations

Air India has been forced to reschedule/cancel several flights due to US restrictions on account of COVID-19 | File Photo

After lending a helping hand to the US with the anti-malaria-drug hydroxychloroquine, India has started to fly off consignments of other life-saving drugs as gifts to neighbouring countries to fight coronavirus.

The South Block on Thursday (April 9) said after an Air India plane with 10 tonnes of medicine, was sent to Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles, Mauritius, and some African countries will be receiving drugs from India too.

Besides, paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine, in line with commercial contracts signed with Indian pharmaceutical companies, the government has also cleared export of COVID-19 drugs to the US, UK, Spain, Brazil, Bahrain, and Germany.

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According to a senior official, the commerce ministry issued the instructions pertaining to the matter after making sure, enough supplies were secured for India, in case of a worst-case scenario.

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After a careful assessment, India eased the export restriction on the drug and planned on sharing it with the US and other nations.

Apart from the nations hit severely by the pandemic, India is also keeping a special watch on drug requirements of the Gulf nations.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is in touch with his counterparts in the Gulf.

As China is the only nation with surplus supplies, India is buying medical equipment from Bejing via private suppliers.

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