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COVID-19: India approves supply of hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries


New Delhi, Apr 16: India has approved the supply of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, either as commercial sales or as grants, to 55 countries as part of the efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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"Supplies to 55 countries have been approved so far, including commercial sales to 21 countries, while the rest will get small quantities as grants," say reports.

Countries that are immediately going to get the benefits are United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Seychelles, Oman, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Nigeria, Dominican Republic, Uganda, Egypt, Armenia, Senegal, Algeria, Jamaica, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Netherlands, Slovenia, Uruguay, Ecuador, and others.

New Delhi had earlier said, it would export anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, high in demand globally, only to foreign governments and not to private companies, as the product is under prohibited or banned category of exports, sources said.

Although the export of this medicine is completely banned, India has decided to export this anti-malarial drug in sync with its global commitment to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Hydroxychloroquine is an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria. India is the largest producer and exporter of the drug globally.

India manufactures 70 per cent of the world's supply of hydroxychloroquine. Companies like Zydus Cadila and IPCA are the major manufacturers in the country, according to the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA).

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