09 April 2020
Brasilia: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has thanked India for allowing the export of raw materials to increase the production of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug used to treat the novel coronavirus.
While addressing the nation on Wednesday, the President said that the country was scheduled to receive a shipment of raw material from India to increase chloroquine production, which is being discussed in the international scientific community about its use and effectiveness, reports Efe news.
With 210 million inhabitants, Brazil has registered 800 deaths from COVID-19, 133 in the last 24 hours, and nearly 16,000 confirmed cases, according to the health ministry's report.
In his address, Bolsonaro thanked "Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India for such timely help to the people of Brazil", adding that as a result of a direct conversation between the two leaders, Brazil will receive "by Saturday, raw materials to continue production of hydroxychloroquine so we can treat patients of COVID-19 as well as of lupus, malaria, and arthritis".
Also on Wednesday and for a second time, US President Donald Trump also thanked Modi for allowing the export of pre-ordered hydroxychloroquine to help his country fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I want to thank Prime Minister Modi of India for allowing us to have what we requested from before the problem arose and he was terrific," Trump said at his nationally televised news briefing on Wednesday.
"We will remember it," he added.
This was his second expression of gratitude. Earlier he had tweeted: "Extraordinary times require even closer cooperation between friends. Thank you India and the Indian people for the decision on HCQ. Will not be forgotten! Thank you Prime Minister Narendra Modi for your strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity, in this fight."
The Modi government had imposed a ban on export of the drug since the coronavirus outbreak hit India.
But on Monday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade notified lifting restrictions on 14 drugs, including hydroxychloroquine.
Paracetamol and HCQ, have been kept in a licensed category and their demand status was to be continuously monitored. HCQ is being used to treat COVID-19 patients and as prophylactic by the frontline health care workers deployed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.