COVID-19 | Trump thanks India for helping US with hydroxychloroquine; says this will not be forgotten

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A day after India made it clear that it would supply essential drugs like Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol to nations particularly badly affected by Covid-19, thus paving the way for HCQ exports to the United States, President Donald Trump thanked India and the Indian people for the decision and said this it “will not be forgotten”.

“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!,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

Just two days back, Trump had created quite a flutter by talking about a “retaliation” if India failed to provide the U.S with supplies of HCQ. He then made an apparent u-turn a day later by praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and saying that India had put a hold on exporting HCQ because it needed the supplies for itself.

The latest tweet by Trump is expected to finally put a lid on the entire episode and put India-U.S ties on an even firmer footing.

In fact, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has already stated that India would licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all its neighbouring countries who are dependent on its capabilities. “We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic,” the MEA has said.

The MEA has also clarified that “some temporary steps” were taken to “restrict exports of a number of pharmaceutical products” because India’s first obligation is to ensure that adequate stocks of medicines are available for its own people.

“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 MEA said on April 7. It added that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade had notified lifting restrictions on 14 drugs. “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,” the MEA had stated.

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