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Coronavirus: Government bans export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine

Coronavirus: Government bans export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquineRepresentational Image
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In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Union Government today banned the export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and...

In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Union Government today banned the export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from it. The ban was imposed to ensure sufficient availability of medicine in the domestic market.

However, the export of the medicine will be allowed on humanitarian grounds on a case-to-case basis as per the recommendation of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Earlier, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating healthcare workers handling suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases and also the asymptomatic household contacts of the lab-confirmed cases.

Earlier on Tuesday, India banned exports of sanitizers and extended it to ventilators, oxygen therapy apparatus, artificial respiratory apparatus and other breathing appliances to plug any loopholes in exports of these critical healthcare items at a time the country is experiencing a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases.

Before this, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) last week banned the export of surgical and disposable masks, all ventilators and textile raw material used for making masks with immediate effect given the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in India. DGFT in a notification said, "The export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks only, and textile raw material for masks and coveralls only...has been prohibited, with immediate effect."

Earlier this month, the Union Government declared face masks including 2 layered & 3 layered surgical masks and N95 masks and hand sanitisers essential commodities for the next 100 days - under Essential Commodities Act, 1955 - to ensure price regulation and availability as it stepped up efforts to boost supply and prevent hoarding of these items necessary to fight COVID-19.

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