The shipment followed India's decision to lift export restrictions on essential drugs, but further discussions were required for the UK's urgent need for paracetamol.
The British government has hailed India-UK trade ties as the first consignment of 2,800,000 packets of paracetamol from India is set to be distributed across the country’s supermarkets and retailers to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The shipment followed India’s decision to lift export restrictions on essential drugs, but further discussions were required for the UK’s urgent need for paracetamol.
“This will mean nearly 3 million more packets of paracetamol on British supermarket shelves,” UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Coronavirus is the largest threat we have all faced in decades, so it’s imperative that we work together to continue global trade and keep supply chains open. I’d like to extend a big thank you to officials both in the UK and India who worked hard on this agreement and I look forward to working with India and other countries soon to ensure we beat COVID-19,” she said.
Last week, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister, Lord Tariq Ahmad, had also highlighted the export consignment of paracetamol as a sign of the close cooperation between India and the UK.
“The UK and India continue to work in close partnership to respond to the COVID-19 threat. My sincere thanks on behalf of the UK government to India for approving this important shipment,” said Ahmad.
The shipment arrived as a series of charter flights laid on by the UK government to ferry thousands of British residents stranded in India’s coronavirus lockdown began landing in the UK since earlier this month.
The FCO says that the flight will make “serious inroads” into repatriating the estimated 21,000 Britons in India, with an end of April target set for getting the majority who wish to return to their homes in the UK.