Addressing reports of shortages, government officials said there were enough stocks of HCQ in the country to meet demand and also for a buffer. The government estimates that India needs 1.6 crore tablets until the end of the month and has kept 3.28 crore tablets, said deputy secretary of the ministry of health, Lav Agarwal.
The figures were provided in response to some opposition politicians like Shashi Tharoor, claiming that India risked failing to yield to the United States and other international demands. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also stressed the need for domestic supplies. Ravi said the export ban has been reviewed by the relevant group of ministers and the secretaries’ committee, taking into account national priorities.
“Having kept a buffer stock, the government has decided to release certain surplus drugs, including HCQ and paracetamol, for export,” he said. The countries that received the first exports were those that had ordered before the ban began.
The priority countries would be those with high levels of infection, as would neighboring countries. The HCQ is administered to front line health workers, boys in the ward and those who are in direct contact with a Covid-19 patient prophylactically, but only with a doctor’s prescription. However, the buzz surrounding HCQ’s exports has led to some accumulation, according to government sources.