India will supply Paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), considered as “essential drugs” in fight against fatal coronavirus, to “some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic.”

“In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence Paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities. We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in response to media persons’ queries today.

However he expressed his disappointment over sections of the media for kicking up controversy over coronavirus related drugs.

“We have seen some attempts by sections of the media to create unnecessary controversy over the issue of COVID19 related drugs and pharmaceuticals. Like any responsible government, our first obligation is to ensure that there are adequate stocks of medicines for the requirement of our own people. In order to ensure this, some temporary steps were taken to restrict exports of a number of pharmaceutical products,” the MEA spokesperson said, adding we would discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicize the matter.

In the meanwhile, a comprehensive assessment has been made for possible requirements under different scenarios. “After having confirmed the availability of medicines for all possible contingencies currently envisaged, these restrictions have been largely lifted,” he said.

“The DGFT has notified lifting restrictions on 14 drugs yesterday. With regard to paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), they will be kept in a licensed category and their demand position would be continuously monitored. However, the stock position could allow our companies to meet the export commitments that they had contracted,” MEA’s newly appointed spokesperson added.

Our Bureau