Hydroxychloroquine, potentially effective in the treatment of Coronavirus, banned for exports by India

coronavirus drugs

By Avinash Verma, Indica News Bureau – As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Indian government has banned export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine which is understood to be a partially effective drug for treating coronavirus or and as an emergency treatment for health workers who handle coronavirus patients. 

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine to health care workers who are handling the positive cases of coronavirus.

Is Hydroxychloroquine effective in treatment of Covid-19 patients?

Hydroxychloroquine has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) for use in emergency situations. Though its effect as a drug for coronavirus is yet to be proved, Hydroxychloroquine is understood to be a partially effective drug for coronavirus. Here it is to be noted that no 100% proven drugs or vaccines are yet available for Covid-19 and social distancing or isolation is understood to be the only way to break the chain of transmission. Companies like Cipla and Reliance in India are working hard to invent drugs effective as a prevention or treatment for Coronavirus (Covid-19). The Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi announced a complete lock-down effective in the whole of India from 24th March midnight. Earlier he had imposed a Janata Curfew on 22nd March.

Government will however allow the export of the medicine on humanitarian grounds on a case to case basis. The  export of this emergency preventive drug for coronavirus will also be permitted in exceptional cases. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said:  

“Export will be permitted in case of shipments where irrevocable letter of credit has been issued before the date of this notification or in case where full advance payment has been received by the exporter in India against specific shipment, subject to submission of documentary evidence.”

How the demand for hydroxychloroquine surged after President Trump’s statement: 

The demand for these “potentially effective salts in treating Covid-19” jumped after US President Donald Trump said that hydroxychloroquine was effective in treating COVID-19. 

As the cases of Covid-19 are rising in India, the government here has banned exports of a number of medical devices fearing shortage. Sanitisers have also been banned for exports. People were unable to find sanitisers after its demand surged in the last few weeks.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification said: 

“Export of all sanitisers…is prohibited, with immediate effect.” 

Are Malarial drugs useful in prevention of Coronavirus?

Although there is no guarantee that Malarial drugs’ effect on coronavirus. In certain quarters, it is being acknowledged to have some effects in treating or curing positive coronavirus cases.

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