New Delhi: After US President Donald Trump hinted at “retaliation”, India announced on Tuesday that it would relax restrictions on the export of drugs deemed to be potential coronavirus treatments.
India banned the export of hydroxychloroquine on Saturday due to domestic demand, which has shown an early commitment to COVID-19 in small-scale studies in France and China.
According to media reports, India is the world’s largest drug producer and exporter.
However, global inventories are limited, and Trump said he has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speed up transportation this weekend, implying otherwise consequences.
“If he doesn´t allow it to come out, he doesn´t allow it to come out, that would be okay, but of course, there may be retaliation, why wouldn´t there be?” Trump said on Monday.
The Indian foreign ministry swiftly backtracked and on Tuesday said it would now license the export of the drug and paracetamol — exports of which were restricted in March — “in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities.”