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India Vows To Assist Nepal, Bhutan, B’Desh With Covid-19 Drug; What About Pakistan?

India has stated that it will supply hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and other essential drugs to Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh as they were totally reliant on the Indian Government for pharmaceuticals.

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This was discussed at the virtual meeting among SAARC trade officials a day after the Modi-government lifted the embargo on exports of paracetamol and HCQ, both claimed to be useful in treating coronavirus.

“We will assist these countries especially Nepal and Bhutan as they have been completely reliant on us for many products,” said an official. SAARC nations including Nepal were among the 30 countries that had requested New Delhi to remove the ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine, reports the Economic Times.

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Besides India, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) members include – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. All SAARC nations, except Pakistan, joined in the video conference.

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As reported by EurAsian Times earlier, India, which is the largest producer and exporter of hydroxychloroquine has received requests from more than 30 countries to supply the life-saving drug for treating Covid-19 infected patients.

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HCQ, an anti-malarial drug is also prescribed for patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. However, after some Chinese and French researchers claimed that HCQ could potentially treat Covid-19 and Donald Trump called the drug a potential game-changer, many countries including the US, Israel, Brazil have hailed the Indian PM for lifting the ban on HCQ.

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India is the world’s largest supply of hydroxychloroquine — manufacturing roughly 70% of the world’s total supply, according to Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA). The drug is not manufactured in developed nations like the US because of non-existent malaria which puts India at an advantage at this stage of the pandemic.

India manufactures 70% of the world’s HCQ which is approximately 20 crore HCQ tablets every month while local consumption is only 2.40 crores every year.

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Meanwhile, Pakistan President Arif Alvi assured Punjab official in his country that the government has placed an order with the Turkish government for the import of hydroxychloroquine.

As far as HCQ was concerned, the drug was being manufactured in various countries such as Germany, the US, France, and Turkey; and the federal government had reached out to Turkey. As soon it reached Pakistan, Punjab would also be supplied accordingly, he assured.

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