India partially opens up export of hydroxychloroquine after President Trump talks of “retaliation”

US President Trump has said that there may be retaliation if India does not agree to export the anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine to the US. The Indian government had banned the export of the medicine citing internal requirements a few weeks back. 

Trump has advocated the use of the hydroxychloroquine drug after some effects of the drug were seen in the treatment of the coronavirus. The efficacy of the drug is however unproven and researchers have said that further studies are required to confirm the use of the drug in the treatment of coronavirus. 

Trump has been rather vocal about the efficacy of the drug though the health experts in US itself are not too sure about the efficacy of the drug. 

Trump said: “I would be surprised if he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) would, you know, because India does very well with the United States,” Mr Trump said at a White House press briefing on Monday, when a reporter asked whether he was worried about “retaliation to the US ban on export of medical goods.”

Trump made it clear about his displeasure about India’s decision to ban the drug, when he said:

“I don’t like that decision, I didn’t hear that that was his decision. I know that he stopped it for other countries. I spoke to him yesterday, we had a very good talk and we’ll see whether or not that’s his… For many years, they’ve been taken advantage of the United States on trade. So I would be surprised if that were his decision. He’d have to tell me that. I spoke to him Sunday morning, called him, and I said, we’d appreciate you allowing our supply to come out.”

He also said that there will be retaliation if India does not allow the export of hydroxychloroquine.

“ If he doesn’t allow it to come out. That would be OK. But of course, there may be retaliation. Why wouldn’t there be.” 

The Indian Council of Medical Research or ICMR had recommended hydroxychloroquine for health workers who were working in close proximity with the coronavirus patients.

After appeal from Mr. Trump, India has partially lifted the ban and has said that the medicine will be exported on humanitarian grounds and supplies will be made to the confirmed orders.

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