Guj companies to export hydroxychloroquine to US: CM Rupani

Ahmedabad, Apr 7 () With the coronavirus outbreakcreating demand for the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine,Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said three companies fromthe state will export it to the United States.

In an interview to a private radio station on Tuesday,Rupani said his government has kept aside 1 crorehydroxychloroquine tablets to deal with any eventuality.

"Gujarat is shining the world over. US President Trumphas been vigorously demanding that drug from India. Now, whenthe Centre has given permission for its export, Gujarat is allset to send it to the United States," said Rupani.

"Three Gujarat-based companies have already startedproduction of that drug to be supplied to the US. To be on thesafer side, we have kept aside 1 crore tablet for our ownuse," the CM said.Advertisement

US President Donald Trump had, on Monday, warned Indiaof retaliation if the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine isnot supplied to his country.

In response, the Centre had said India will supplyessential drugs to neighbouring countries and those that arebadly affected by the pandemic.

Hydroxychloroquine is an old and inexpensive drug usedto treat malaria, the export of which was banned by India lastmonth amid views that it could be used as potential anti-viralagent to protect from infection healthcare workers treatingCOVID-19 patients.
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On speculation of the lockdown getting extended, hesaid it was tough to say anything at this juncture, adding itwas the Centre that would decide on this after seeking opinionfrom all states.

He said there was confusion among the masses on thistopic, and claimed one of options being discussed by thepeople was to lift the lockdown in a phased manner so as tocontrol the rush of crowds.He said impact of lockdown on the economy should notbe taken into consideration when people's lives are at stake.Advertisement

He said a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in Gujarat wasbecause of "mistakes" committed by Tablighi Jamaat members whohad attended a gathering in Delhi last month. PJT PDBNM BNM
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