Covid-19: Brazil President thanks India for ‘timely help’ after nod to hydroxychloroquine

Updated on Apr 09, 2020 08:56 AM IST

In a letter to PM Modi, President Jair Bolsonaro had compared India’s move to allow export of hydroxychloroquine to Lord Hanuman and Sanjeevani booti (herb) in the epic Ramayana.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro had earlier sent a note to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thanking him for allowing the export of hydroxychloroquine, used for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.(Reuters Photo)
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro had earlier sent a note to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thanking him for allowing the export of hydroxychloroquine, used for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.(Reuters Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro thanked India for the “timely assistance” in the form of nod to exporting ingredients for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a medicine which is widely used in treatment of coronavirus disease Covid-19.

“As a result of my direct conversation with the Prime Minister of India, we will receive, until Saturday, raw material to continue producing hydroxychloroquine, so that we can treat COVID-19 patients, as well as malaria, lupus and arthritis,” Bolsonaro said in his address to the nation on Wednesday.

“I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian people for this very timely assistance to the Brazilian people,” he further said in his address - his fifth since the coronavirus crisis began.

He had earlier thanked PM Modi for easing restrictions on export of the drug. In a letter to PM Modi, President Bolsonaro compared India’s move to Lord Hanuman and Sanjeevani booti (herb) in the epic Ramayana.

“Just as Lord Hanuman brought the holy medicine from the Himalayas to save the life of Lord Rama’s brother Laksmana, and Jesus healed those who were sick and restored the sight of Bartimeu, India and Brazil will overcome this global crisis,” President Bolronaro had said in his letter to Prime Minister Modi.

India is the largest manufacturer and exporter of hydroxychloroquine in the world.

But on Saturday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade notified a ban on exports of hydroxychloroquine and any formulation containing the miracle drug from special economic zones (SEZs) and export-oriented units too.

President Bolsonaro, who was in the country this January to be chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, spoke with PM Modi the same day. He followed up the conversation with a letter on Tuesday that underscored the important role that he expected hydroxychloroquine to play in the fight against Covid-19.

In all, India received similar requests from 20 countries as countries explore any possible cure for the pandemic that has infected 1.4 million people and killed nearly 82,000 around the world.

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