Updated: April 9, 2020 8:44:05 am
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing the export of raw materials to Brazil for the production of anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drug. Bolsonaro said the drug will be used to treat those infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
“As an outcome of my direct conversation with Prime Minister of India, we will receive, by Saturday, raw materials to continue our production of Hydroxychloroquine so that we can treat patients of COVID-19 as well as of Lupus, Malaria, and Arthritis. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India for such timely help to the people of Brazil,” he said in a video.
Earlier, the president, in a letter to PM Modi, compared India’s move to allow the export of Hydroxychloroquine to Lord Hanuman bringing “sanjeevani booti (herb)” in the epic Ramayan. “Just as Lord Hanuman brought the holy medicine from the Himalayas to save the life of Lord Rama’s brother Laksmana, and Jesus healed those who were sick and restored the sight of Bartimeu, India and Brazil will overcome this global crisis,” Bolsonaro wrote. The letter arrived on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump also praised PM Modi for his “strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity” in the fight against the new coronavirus.
Trump also praised 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.
Earlier, Trump had warned India of retaliation if the country doesn’t supply the drug to America. Hours after this, 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.
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