Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Government Bans Export of Anti-Malarial Drug Hydroxychloroquine

Swarajya Staff

Mar 25, 2020, 10:15 AM | Updated 10:15 AM IST


In a bid to ensure the availability of all needed resources to contain as well as treat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centre on Wednesday (25 March) banned the export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine with immediate effect, reports The Hindu.

In a notification issued on Wednesday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), an arm of the commerce ministry which deals with export and import-related matters, said, “The export of hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from hydroxychloroquine is prohibited with immediate effect“.

However, the Union Ministry of External Affairs can recommend the export of the drug on a case to case basis on humanitarian grounds.

The ban on the export of the anti-malarial drug comes as the Director General (DG) of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had on Monday (23 March) recommended the usage of the drug for treating healthcare workers handling the suspected, or confirmed cases, and also the asymptomatic household contacts of the laboratory-confirmed cases.

However, the usage of the drug has been permitted in a restricted manner in emergency situations.

It should be noted that India has already banned the export of sanitisers, surgical masks and ventilators.

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