Coronavirus outbreak: US receives India's hydroxychloroquine cargo

Updated: Apr 13, 2020, 07:48 IST | Agencies | Washington

Last week, New Delhi cleared the export of 35.82 lakh tablets of hydroxychloroquine to America ; the United States Food and Drug Administration has identified the anti-malaria drug as a possible treatment for the COVID-19

The consignment of hydroxychloroquine at Newark airport, US. Pic Courtesy/@SandhuTaranjitS
The consignment of hydroxychloroquine at Newark airport, US. Pic Courtesy/@SandhuTaranjitS

A consignment of hydroxychloroquine from India has reached the US, the global COVID-19 hotspot, days after New Delhi lifted a ban on the export of the anti-malarial drug to America and some other countries on humanitarian grounds to help them combat the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1.7 million people have tested positive and 108,867 people have died from the novel coronavirus globally. The US has emerged as the global hotspot with 20,580 deaths and nearly 530,000 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data. America has replaced Italy as the country with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths at 20,597, the data shows.

Earlier this week, India at the request of President Donald Trump cleared the export of 35.82 lakh tablets of hydroxychloroquine to the US along with nine metric tons of active pharmaceutical ingredient or API required in the manufacturing of the drug.

"Supporting our partners in the fight against COVID-19. Consignment of hydroxychloroquine from India arrived at Newark airport today (Saturday)," India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu tweeted. Hydroxychloroquine has been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for the COVID-19 and it is being tested on more than 1,500 coronavirus patients in New York.

Anticipating that it will work, given the initial positive results, Trump has bought more than 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine for potential treatment of COVID-19 patients. The arrival of consignment was welcomed by Americans.

"US will never forget this great humanitarian gesture by India. Under President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two largest democracies of the world have come together than ever in the past,' said New York-based Al Mason, a real estate consultant and a Trump supporter. "A wonderful gesture by India to its friends in need," tweeted Dr Sampat Shivangi.

20,597
N. of deaths in the US

1,10,005
No. of deaths worldwide

Death toll in Europe passes 75,000

Over 75,000 people have died from the Coronavirus in Europe, with 80 per cent of the fatalities occurring in Italy, Spain, France and Britain, according to an AFP tally. With a total of 75,011 deaths from 909,673 infections, Europe is the hardest-hit continent in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 1,10,000 people worldwide.

Stay put: Indian students in US told

India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has advised the Indian students, stranded in America due to the sudden closure of universities and the ongoing lockdown back home because of the coronavirus pandemic, to stay where they are and assured them help in this crisis situation. Sandhu addressed the concerns of over 500 Indian students who attended the Instagram Live session hosted by the Indian Embassy on Saturday. There are an estimated 250,000 Indian students in the US, a significantly large numbers of whom are stranded due to the sudden closer of the universities and asked to vacate their hostels and follow stay-at-home order issued by the authorities. The Indian government imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown from March 24 to stem the tide of the fast-spreading disease and also suspended rail, road and air services during the period. "At this time the most advisable thing to do is stay where you are," Sandhu said.

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