US President Donald Trump has said that he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the amount of Hydroxychloroquine ordered by the United States after India last month banned the drugs for exports.
President Trump at his daily news conference at the White House on Saturday, said that he spoke to Prime Minister Modi that day and made a request to release Hydroxycholoroquine for the US.
“I called Prime Minister Modi of India this morning. They make large amounts of Hydroxychloroquine. India is giving it a serious consideration,” Trump said at his daily news conference at the White House on Saturday, he said.
Trump said that people in malaria affected-countries take Hydroxychloroquine and not many people are infected by coronavirus.
He added that he would take Hydroxychloroquine, if needed.
“I think people should if it were me, in fact, I might do it anyway. I may take it, Ok? I may take it. And, I’ll have to ask my doctors about that, but I may take it”, while replying to a reporter.
The government of India on March 25 banned export of anti-malarial drug hydroxycloroquine, with immediate effect to ensure sufficient availability of the medicine in the domestic market but India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade, an arm of the commerce ministry which deals with export and import-related matters, said it will allow export of the medicine on humanitarian grounds on case-to-case basis on the Ministry of External Affairs’ recommendation.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava had recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating healthcare workers handling suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases and also the asymptomatic household contacts of the lab-confirmed cases.
The treatment protocol recommended by the ICMR-constituted National Task Force for COVID-19 has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) for restricted use in emergency situations.
Meanwhile, the United States which has reported highest number of coronavirus patients is going to face its ‘toughest’ two weeks as President Donald Trump said he would be deploying thousands of military personnel to states to support them.
With more than three lakh confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and over 8,000 fatalities, the US has emerged as the worst sufferers of the deadly coronavirus diseases to which there has been no cure.
Researchers and scientists across the world, as well as in the US are racing against time to find either a vaccine or a therapeutic cure to the virus that has so far killed more than 64,000 people and infected 1.2 million in more than 150 countries.
The Trump administration is banking heavily on using Hydroxychloroquine, a decades old malaria drug, for the successful treatment of coronavirus, based on some initial results.
Following a quick provisional approval from the US Federal Drug Administration last Saturday, the malaria drug along with a combination of some other drug is being used in the treatment of about 1,500 COVID-19 patients in New York.
According to Trump, the drug is yielding positive results. If successful, he told reporters that it would be a gift from heaven.
In the next several weeks, health experts in the US has projected between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths due to coronavirus, which due to human-to-human transmission is spreading like a wildfire in the US.
In anticipation of it being a successful drug in the treatment of coronavirus, the US has already stockpiled some 29 million doses.
It is in this context Trump requested PM Modi to help US get millions of doses of Hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that can be produced at mass scale in India without mentioning that quantity of Hydroxychloroquine that has been ordered by US companies from India.
The Trump administration has made Hydroxychloroquine as part of its Strategic National Stockpile.