India Bans Export Of Anti-malaria Drug Used To Treat Coronavirus
The Government of India has banned the export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which is touted as effective in the treatment of the coronavirus.
"The export of Hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from Hydroxychloroquine are prohibited from immediate effect," a notification issued by the Commerce Ministry on Wednesday says.
However, exemption to this ban will be given to exports from special economic zones, to fulfill existing contracts, and in cases to fulfil humanitarian efforts recommended by the government, a statement by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said.
Hydroxychloroquine is used to prevent and treat acute attacks of malaria.
It is a chemotherapeutic agent that acts against erythrocytic forms of malarial parasites.
It is also used to treat systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis in patients whose symptoms have not improved with other treatments.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses.
The export ban came a day after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) warned against the experimental usage of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.
ICMR epidemiology chief Raman Gangakhedkar said the drug should not be used without doctor's supervision.
The United States and some other countries are using Hydroxychloroquine as a life-saving measure against the coronavirus, but there is no conclusive scientific evidence that the tablets can cure the infection from the novel pathogen.
U.S. hospitals are stockpiling Hydroxychloroquine after Trump called the drug a "game changer" in the treatment of the coronavirus.
India is one of the major manufacturers of the medicine.
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