HCQ assurance kept, India seeks US help for cutting-edge Covid-19 test equipment
Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla on Wednesday requested the Trump administration for support to get access to cutting-edge Covid-19 testing equipment. Shringla made the request in a telephone conversation with his counterpart US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun, people familiar with the development said.
Shringla’s phone call is a follow-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s conversation with US President Donald Trump on Saturday last. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had touched base with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 6.
Officials did not elaborate on the equipment that India seeks to access.
“There was an exchange of views on the current situation with respect to the spread of Sars-CoV-2 and the associated challenges,” a person aware of the development said.
“Both sides discussed ways to further enhance their cooperation to counter and control the pandemic including through the development of novel therapies and prophylactics against Covid-19,” the person said. They also spoke about ensuring availability of essential medicines, diagnostic and medical equipment, and sharing of best practices and information.
India had this week eased restrictions on the export of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol to fulfil existing orders. The relaxation was made after New Delhi received requests from nearly 20 countries including the United States and Brazil.
India has approved the use of hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis to protect health workers and close contacts of Covid-19 patients. A small clinical trial in China had indicated the anti-malarial drug reduced the duration and severity of cough, fever and pneumonia in patients, leading to a boost in demand for the drug
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- The government's statement came in response to a question by the leader of opposition in the assembly about the number of farmers who died by suicide.
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