Addressing a briefing, MEA Additional Secretary Dammu Ravi, who is also the COVID-19 coordinator, conveyed that hydroxychloroquine is in high demand globally and a decision for exporting the drug to the first list of countries which put in a request has been approved.
Hydroxychloroquine, which is being seen as a drug that may counter coronavirus, Indian Government has received requests from several nations for the medicine and a decision has been taken to export the surplus drug along with maintaining a sufficient buffer of stocks for the country. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health informed that India has a stock of 3.28 crore tablets of hydroxychloroquine, which is three times more than the projected requirement of one crore tablets in the country for the coming week and that tie-ups have been made for an additional supply of 2 to 3 crore tablets for the future need. “Based on our projected requirement, Domestic requirement and production of hydroxychloroquine have been 100 percent ensured, not even for today but for the coming times as well. Also, two crore tablets have been sent to states to ensure their availability in the private sector,” Agarwal said confirming there is no shortage of the medicine in the country.
The ICMR has recommended the use of the drug as a preventive medication to healthcare workers and household contacts looking after a positive case. Besides, the Union Health Ministry has also recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin on those severely suffering from COVID-19 who require ICU management. — PTI