The government of India has approved a supply of medicine to fight covid19 to be sent to Trinidad and Tobago, including the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).
The ministry of external affairs (foreign ministry of government of India) said in a press release on Thursday the decision was made on “humanitarian grounds” to ensure the supply of “widely used medicines, including cases of covid19.”
The statement said it was a “symbol of our solidarity with countries who require this medicine during this hour of need.”
HCQ is used to prevent and treat malaria. The statement said in pre-clinical laboratory studies, “HCQ has been found effective against coronavirus (and) is being recommended for treatment under special circumstances and for protection of high-risk individuals.”
India has also cleared export of paracetamol API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient), approximately worth US$250,000 to TT. TT is among 63 countries for which the export of paracetamol has been approved.
India leads in production and export of HCQ with 70 per cent of annual global production.
India initially banned exports of the drug on March 25 and “further tightened rules on April 4 to bar exports from special economic zones (SEZs), where such bans don’t apply.”
It said those rules were “partially eased” to allow the export of HCQ and paracetamol APl. India is supplying HCQ to 55 countries including the US and the UK.
The statement said India is a “reliable global supplier of medicines during humanitarian crisis” and have reached out to many countries, including TT with delivery of essential medical supplies.
US president Donald Trump recently came under fire for recommending the drug despite warnings from his own health officials that there is little data to support its effectiveness as a treatment against the covid19.