Malaysia and Turkey have joined the list of countries looking for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drugs to treat Covid-19 infected patients. India recently cleared the supply of HCQ drugs to 13 countries, including many nations in the SAARC.
India had earlier stated that it will supply hydroxychloroquine and other essential drugs to Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh as they were totally reliant on the Indian Government for pharmaceuticals.
“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.
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.
As per the latest reports, Malaysia and Turkey — who have been criticizing the Indian domestic policies including Kashmir and the Citizenship act, have joined the list of nations looking to import hydroxychloroquine drug from India, sources in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs have revealed, according to Sputnik News.
“India is contemplating the supply request. However, the decision is yet to be made in this regard”, the ministry sources said. On the other hand, Malaysia’s government has confirmed the supply of the drug and requested another batch from India.
“Earlier, the Modi-Government agreed to sell hydroxychloroquine tablets to Malaysia, a Malaysian minister told Reuters, with New Delhi partially lifting its bar on exports of the anti-malarial drug.
Experts talking to the EurAsian Times called the requests from Malaysia and Turkey as an embarrassment to both the nations. Both countries, going against the diplomatic protocols, vehemently criticized the Indian government on Kashmir, leading to massive economic backlash from New Delhi.
In February, Turkey condemned the deaths of Muslims in the national capital Delhi following communal clashes. India lodged a strong protest against the “unwarranted remarks”.
During his address to the United Nations General Assembly last year, the 94-year-old former Malaysian PM – Mahathir Mohamad had said that Delhi had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir by abolishing Article 370 and Article 35A, a statement that infuriated the Modi-Government.
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.