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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

‘Times like these bring friends closer’: PM Modi responds to Trump’s praises over drug export

"India shall do everything possible to help humanity's fight against Covid-19. We shall win this together," Prime Minister Narendra Modi told US President Donald Trump.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 9, 2020 11:08:00 am
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday responded to US President Donald Trump’s praises over India’s decision to lift curbs on the export of hydroxychloroquine, saying it is “times like these which bring friends closer”.

Taking to Twitter, Modi said, “Fully agree with you President Donald Trump. Times like these bring friends closer. The India-US partnership is stronger than ever.”

“India shall do everything possible to help humanity’s fight against Covid-19. We shall win this together,” he added.

Modi’s remarks came hours after President Trump lauded the Prime Minister for his “strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Takign to Twitter, Trump said, “Extraordinary times require even closer cooperation between friends. Thank you India and the Indian people for the decision on HCQ. Will not be forgotten! Thank you Prime Minister @NarendraModi for your strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity, in this fight!”

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Prior to this, Trump had praised Modi and India’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying “the US bought more than 29 million of hydroxychloroquine from India and the country put a stop because it was needed there”. “I bought millions of doses (of hydroxychloroquine). More than 29 million. I spoke to Prime Minister Modi, a lot of it (hydroxychloroquine) comes out of India. I asked him if he would release it? He was great. He was really good,” he said.

“You know they put a stop because they wanted it for India,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News.

On Tuesday, Trump had warned India of retaliation if the country refused to supply the drug to America. Hours later, India said that it will supply essential drugs to “some nations who have been particularly badly affected” by COVID-19 and to “neighbouring countries who are dependent on India’s capabilities”.

New Delhi also said that a “comprehensive assessment” of India’s domestic requirements has confirmed the “availability of medicines for all possible contingencies”. It said that the stock position “could allow” Indian companies to meet the export commitments they have already made.

Hydroxychloroquine, of which India is a major producer, has been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for Covid-19 and it is being tested on more than 1,500 coronavirus patients in New York.

India manufactures 70 per cent of the world’s supply of hydroxychloroquine, according to Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) secretary-general Sudarshan Jain.

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