New Delhi: Government of India has lashed out at sections of the media that were out there to create unnecessary controversy over the issue of COVID19 related drugs and pharmaceuticals.
Responding to queries focusing on news reports quoting US President Donald Trump who talked of retaliation when asked to comment on India’s refusal to supply Hydroxychloroquine during his Monday press briefing on Coronavirus, the official spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said on Tuesday 7 April 2020:
“We have seen some attempts by sections of the media to create unnecessary controversy over the issue of COVID19 related drugs and pharmaceuticals. Like any responsible government, our first obligation is to ensure that there are adequate stocks of medicines for the requirement of our own people. In order to ensure this, some temporary steps were taken to restrict exports of a number of pharmaceutical products. In the meanwhile, a comprehensive assessment was made of possible requirements under different scenarios. After having confirmed the availability of medicines for all possible contingencies currently envisaged, these restrictions have been largely lifted. The DGFT has notified lifting restrictions on 14 drugs yesterday. With regard to paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), they will be kept in a licensed category and their demand position would be continuously monitored. However, the stock position could allow our companies to meet the export commitments that they had contracted.
Given the enormity of the COVID19 pandemic, India has always maintained that the international community must display strong solidarity and cooperation. This approach also guided our evacuation of nationals of other countries. In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities. We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. We would therefore discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter.”
How a section of media reported the US President’s remarks
Forbes: After Trump’s Retaliation Threat, India Lifts Restrictions On Hydroxychloroquine
MailOnline: India lifts ban on exporting hydroxychloroquine after President Trump threatened ‘retaliation’ if the country failed to send potential coronavirus treatment to the US
Aljazeera: India lifts drug export ban after Trump’s ‘retaliation’ threat
The New York Times: India Allows Limited Exports of Anti-Malaria Drug After Trump Warns of Retaliation