‘Will do all we can’: How PM Modi responded to Trump’s request on Covid-19 drug | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Will do all we can’: How PM Modi responded to Trump’s request on Covid-19 drug

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Apr 05, 2020 01:33 PM IST

US President Donald Trump has asked PM Modi to release orders placed by the US for hydroxychloroquine doses to help his country fight coronavirus

India has made it known to the US that it is a “responsible country” and will do all to supply hydroxychloroquine, a prophylactic for health care workers fighting against coronavirus, but only after making its own 1.3 billion population secure against the pandemic.

US President Donald Trump had called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi for letting Indian pharma companies export hydroxychloroquine doses to the US(PT)
US President Donald Trump had called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi for letting Indian pharma companies export hydroxychloroquine doses to the US(PT)

“We will do all what we can” was apparently what PM Modi told the US President Donald Trump during an extensive call on Saturday evening. Besides focusing on bilateral cooperation against the pandemic, President Donald Trump recalled his visit to India in late February.

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According to government sources, India is stockpiling the drug for its population in the event of a worst case scenario and will lift the export control order only after it has enough to take care of all Indians. Other countries are also doing the same. India is one of the largest manufacturers of hydroxychloroquine, which has been used for treatment of malaria and lupus.

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While India is all for honouring its contracts for supply of this drug to American companies, it is also willing to be on the frontline of human clinical trials of a future Covid 19 vaccine with its body of highly professional doctors , laboratories and transparent feedback to the manufacturers. This may not be possible in African countries as well as in China.

Also Read: ‘There’ll be a lot of death’, Trump tells US as Covid-19 cases surge

In the past two weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been working the phones and video-conferences with all the major global leaders to fight the pandemic. Since the lockdown, he has spoken to G-20 leaders, majority of SAARC leaders and leaders from Israel, Spain and Brazil.

Supplementing the global effort is external affairs minister S Jaishankar who is in constant touch with his counterparts in Gulf countries and has touched base with nearly 100 foreign ministers in the past two months.

While the “extensive” telephone call between PM Modi and US President Trump was focused on the fight against coronavirus, the conversation between EAM Jaishankar and his US counterpart Mike Pompeo went beyond coronavirus and touched on bilateral relations.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla has also been on the phone in this context. In the past two weeks, he has spoken to his counterparts in India-Pacific region including the US, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.

Worried at the spike in coronavirus cases due to the infection spread at Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin, India is seriously ramping up its pharmaceutical capacities too as there would be a price to pay to whoever develops the Covid-19 vaccine first.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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