We will supply anti-malaria drug, don’t politicise matter: India after Trump warns of retaliation

We will supply anti-malaria drug, don’t politicise matter: India after Trump warns of retaliation

US President Donald Trump on Monday warned India of retaliation if the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is not supplied to the US. The Centre has said that India will be supplying essential drugs to neighbouring countries and those that are badly affected by the pandemic.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. We would, therefore, discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter."

He also said that we will be supplying hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol to neighbouring countries that are dependent on India.

"Given the enormity of the COVID19 pandemic, India has always maintained that the international community must display strong solidarity and cooperation In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities," said Srivastava.

The official also said that there should be no unnecessary controversy over this. India has maintained that it will supply the essential drug to countries in need once the domestic requirements are met.

Explaining why India had banned exports of the drug initially, Srivastava said, "Like any responsible government, our first obligation is to ensure that there are adequate stocks of medicines for the requirement of our own people."

Earlier, President Donald Trump warned India that the US may retaliate if it did not export anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine despite his personal request to Prime Minister Modi over a phone call. Trump said he would be surprised if New Delhi did not relent as it has good relations with Washington.

Last week Trump said he has sought help from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the sale of hydroxychloroquine tablets ordered by the US to treat the growing number of coronavirus patients in his country, hours after India banned the export of the anti-malarial drug.

Over 10,000 people have already died in the US which has become the worst-affected nation after Italy and Spain. US now has the highest number of infections at 3.6 lakh cases.