India has cleared the export of the anti-malaria drug – Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets – to 54 more countries across the globe along with the US.
Highly-placed sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online that, “The leaders from across the globe have been reaching out to India seeking help in the form of HCQ. The Ministry of External Affairs which is handling the requests has prepared two lists so far and a third one is in the process of being finalized.”
“A list of 55 countries has been readied and this was prepared on the basis of specific requests received from the leaders of these countries. Exporting of HCQ tablets to these countries whether in the form of aid or through commercial basis has been decided after ensuring that there is adequate supply for the domestic market,” the source explained.
The export of HCQ is being done in small quantities. “Out of the 55 countries — 34 will receive the HCQ as a grant and the balance of 21 nations have purchased these tablets from India,” said the source.
Which countries are getting HCQ?
Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Myanmar, Slovenia, France, the Netherlands, the UK, the US, Marshall Islands, Ukraine, Russia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Colombia, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas, Senegal, Jordan, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Syria, Kenya, Eswatini, Tanzania, Algeria, Madagascar, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Oman, UAE, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan.
According to sources so far two lists have been prepared for sending the HCQ and other humanitarian aid. “Another list is being readied and soon India will extend a helping hand to more nations who are in need.”
“India has started exporting Hydrochloroquine to 55 nations of the world including Latin American and the Caribbean. What began with the American comments on retaliation by the US President Donald Trump progressed to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s tweet about Indian epics and a historical tradition of medical help. As COVID-19 changes the way this word functions with each passing hour tugging at the cords of globalisation and world order as is known around the globe, pure acts of humanity by countries are not only being recognised but also lauded. Cuban medical diplomacy has a long history behind it of not just providing doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to other countries is also evidence of a robust tradition of medical education and facilities in the country” opines Aparaajita Pandey, Asst. Professor, Institute of Public Policy, Amity University, NOIDA.
According to Pandey, “A similar tradition of varied treatment options of both western and non-western medicine, medical tourism, generic medicines and medical research has bolstered the world’s confidence in Indian ability to send HCQ to the world. As Latin America and the Caribbean have begun receiving shipments of the drug from India, it is an added dimension to the already present and growing Indian Pharmaceutical trade in the region. While India has opted to provide some countries, this drug-free of cost and this would be seen as an act of goodwill, it will also bolster India’s image as a benefactor, especially vis-à-vis China’s deteriorating image in the region, despite their claims of controlling the virus and sending medical teams to European nations.”
“It will also open new inroads for the medical industry, generic medicines, and greater collaborating between India and Latin American and Caribbean nations in the future, especially with countries that India is providing free aid,” she concludes.