Changing his stand on the export of hydroxychloroquine from India, US President Donald Trump Wednesday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity” in the fight against the new coronavirus.
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!”
Earlier in the day, Trump had praised PM 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 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.
Hydroxychloroquine, of which India is a major producer, has been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for the COVID-19 and it is being tested on more than 1,500 coronavirus patients in New York.
US has reported over 12,000 deaths so far. The country has the highest number of infections at 398,785 with 138,836 reported cases in New York. In the interview, Trump again touted hydroxychloroquine as a powerful malaria drug. “But there are a lot of good things coming from that. Lot of people are looking at it and saying, you know I don’t hear bad stories, I hear good stories. And I don’t hear anything where it is causing death,” Trump said.
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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