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COVID-19 | India to supply hydroxychloroquine, paracetamol to other badly-affected nations

US President Donald Trump had on April 6 requested India to help with HCQ supplies to treat COVID-19 patients.

April 07, 2020 / 11:18 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image


The government on April 7 allowed the licensing of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol to other nations that are badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

"In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities. We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson said.

"The stock position could allow our companies to meet the export commitments that they had contracted," Srivastava added.

Also read: Explainer | What makes hydroxychloroquine popular? Is it really effective against coronavirus?

US President Donald Trump had on April 6 requested India to provide HCQ supplies to help treat COVID-19 cases.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Trump has claimed that HCQ, widely used as an anti-malarial drug, is a "game changer" in fighting COVID-19.

Follow LIVE updates on the coronavirus pandemic here

HCQ can also treat auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. But it is so far unclear it can treat the novel coronavirus.

On April 6, Trump warned of retaliation if India did not allow the export of HCQ tablets to the US.

Follow our full coverage here.
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first published: Apr 7, 2020 10:43 am
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