'India ready to help friends': PM Modi on export of hydroxychloroquine amid the Covid-19 crisis

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called for joint efforts to fight the coronavirus, said on Friday that India is ready to help its 'friends' in the fight against the deadly virus.

We have to fight together against this pandemic. India is ready to do whatever it takes to help our friends. Pray for the well-being and good health of the people of Israel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi made these comments in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's thank you tweet for India's decision to supply hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, which is considered useful in treatment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a phone conversation on April 3 with Benjamin Netanyahu where the two leaders discussed the current Covid-19 pandemic and the response strategies adopted by their respective governments to counter the health crisis.

Leaders also explored possible collaboration between India and Israel in the fight against the pandemic, including by improving the availability of pharmaceutical supplies and the innovative use of high technology.

On Wednesday, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, thanked Prime Minister Modi and the people of India for lifting the export restrictions on hydroxychloroquine.

Extraordinary times require even closer cooperation between friends. Thank you, India and the Indian people for the decision on HCQ. It will not be forgotten! Thank you, Prime Minister @NarendraModi for your strong leadership in helping not only India, but humanity, in this fight! Trump had said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Previously, the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, thanked Narendra Modi for allowing the export of raw materials to his country to produce hydroxychloroquine. Bolsonaro was one of the leaders Prime Minister Modi spoke to over the weekend in his continued interaction with world leaders since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

India is the world's largest manufacturer of hydroxychloroquine, but the Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) had banned exports of the drug and its ingredients in light of the rapidly increasing number of infection-related cases in the country.

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