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COVID-19 | Six million tablets gifted so far, India’s ‘medical diplomacy’ now worth Rs 38.3 crores


India has gifted five million Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets and 1.32 million Paracetamol (PCM) tablets to various countries and the value of the total medicines and other supplies to be gifted by India now stands at Rs 38.3 crores.

The HCQ tablets have been gifted to countries in India’s neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean Region, Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, Eurasia and WANA regions. The PCM tablets have been gifted to India’s neighbours and other partner countries.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: India has supplied Hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries so far

“Apart from HCQ and PCM, we are also providing a big basket of other medical aid which includes essential drugs and life-saving antibiotics, medical consumables and other equipment for laboratories and hospitals,” Ministry of External Affairs’ Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said today.

India has also given clearance to commercial consignments of around 285 million HCQ tablets to 40 countries. Commercial consignments of around 500 million PCM tablets for 60 countries have also been cleared.

In the past two weeks, around two dozen flights departed for India from five cities in China carrying nearly 400 tonnes of medical supplies that included RT-PCR test kits, Rapid Antibody Tests, PPE kits and thermometers.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 | No fresh cases reported from 78 districts in past 14 days; key takeaways from Health Min’s briefing

“Around 20 more flights are expected to bring supplies from China in the coming days, and this is likely to be stepped up considerably in the next few months as our procurement efforts gain momentum. We are also facilitating collaboration between Indian and foreign agencies in research & development efforts (such as on Remdesivir, PLX Cells etc.) related to COVID-19,” the MEA Spokesperson said, adding that India’s Mission in South Korea has signed a contract on behalf of ICMR with another South Korean company to procure and supply 5 lakh Corona Testing Kits.

“Six SUV-sized high speed testing machines, which are in high demand, are being sourced from Roche in USA,” Srivastava said, adding that India’s R&D labs are in touch with labs in Israel and Germany which are undertaking cutting edge work.

Srivastava also explained that India’s Missions in various parts of the world are playing their part in “scouting the market, tapping commercial opportunities, facilitating supply contracts, closely coordinating on the ground in ensuring that deliveries take place in a timely manner”.

He underlined that through coordination with concerned agencies in India, arrangements were enabled whereby the Indian subsidiary of a South Korean company has commenced production of Covid-19 rapid anti-body testing kits at its plant in Manesar in Haryana with a capacity of 5 lakh kits per week. “The first batch has already rolled out on April 19. This is an excellent example of our ‘Make in India for world’. The company will ramp up production to meet the growing demand in India as well as other parts of the world,” Srivastava said.

The MEA has said that India has also responded promptly to requests for deployment of Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) comprising doctors, nurses and paramedics. These RRTs are ready for deployment at short notice and have so far been deployed in Maldives and Kuwait at the request of their governments. “These RRTs have helped train and exchange best practices with local medical professionals on various aspects of dealing with the pandemic,” the MEA Spokesperson added.

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