The government through a notification on Wednesday prohibited the export of hydroxycloroquine and formulations made from hydroxycloroquine after Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) in a statement earlier this week recommended the use of the anti-malarial drug for those at a high risk of contracting coronavirus.
The policy regarding their export was free until Wednesday, but now stand prohibited.
The drugs are primarily used for prevention and treatment of malaria, however, ICMR has recommendation its use in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed 10 Indian lives so far. The number of people infected with coronavirus has crossed 500 in the country.
Their export will be permitted under three conditions listed in the government notification.
- Export will be allowed from the SEZ/EOU units and in cases where export is made to fulfil export obligation under any advance license issued on or before the date of this notification [i.e. March 25, 2020]
- Export will be allowed in case of shipments where Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ICLC) has been issued before the date of this notification or in case where full advance payment has been received by the exporter in India against specific shipment, subject to admission of documentary evidence.
- Exports will also be allowed to other countries on humanitarian grounds on case to case basis on the recommendation of Ministry of External Affairs.
Globally, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 18,000 lives, while upwards of 400,000 people have been infected by the contagion.
No vaccines for the virus are available so far, but China and the United States have started human trial of a possible vaccine.