Union Government has approved the first list of countries that will receive crucial COVID-fighting drugs from India, including the much talked about anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine or HCQ. The first consignment has started to leave.
The list includes 13 countries including the United States of America, Spain, Germany, Bahrain, Brazil, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic.
Dammu Ravi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, while speaking to the media on Friday, said, “A lot of requests for HCQ were already there and taking into view domestic stock and requirement while keeping a sufficient buffer, a decision was taken by the Group of Ministers to release some of the surplus medicine for export purposes.”
Ravi informed that there will be two more such consignments of the coveted drug that will be exported to foreign nations.
Amid apprehension, whether the nation had sufficient HCQ stock itself, the Health Ministry informed that in the coming week, India will require 1 crore tablets for domestic use and current stock stands at over 3.28 crore, that we are constantly augmenting.
The United States had asked for 48 lakh HCQ tablets. India, meanwhile, has sanctioned 35.82 lakhs tablets along with 9 MT active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), as per their request.
Besides USA, it is only Brazil, Canada and Germany that are expected to get 50 lakh HCQ tablets each in the second consignment. In the first consignment, Brazil will receive 0.53 MT API and Germany, 1.5 MT API.
In neighbouring countries, Bangladesh will get 20 lakh HCQ tablets, Nepal – 10 lakh, Bhutan – 2 lakh, Sri Lanka – 10 lakh (not in first consignment), Afghanistan – 5 lakh, and Maldives – 2 lakh.
MEA said the countries were shortlisted on first come, first serve basis and neighbouring countries were prioritised even then. India will also be exporting a total of 430 million paracetamol tablets.
The list of countries slated to receive paracetamol from India includes – UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and a few African nations.
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