COVID-19 outbreak: Govt bans export Of Hydroxychloroquine
New Delhi: In the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak has affected nearly 40,00,00 people globally, the Centre has banned the export of Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-Malaria drug which is believed to work as a medicine for treating Coronavirus infected patients as well, with immediate effect.
According to a late-night notification by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the export of medication and the composition ingredients used for its manufacturing have been banned.
“The export of Hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from Hydroxychloroquine under any ITCHS Code… is prohibited with immediate effect,” the DGFT under the ministry said in the notification.
Recently, the national task force for COVID-19 constituted by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended hydroxy-chloroquine as a preventive medication.
ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava said that the compound is recommended only for a healthcare worker who is treating a Covid-19 patient.
“Secondly, it’s recommended only for persons staying and caring for a household positive patient. They can take that only for prophylaxis, only for prevention,” he added.
“Hydroxy-chloroquine is found to be effective against coronavirus in laboratory studies and in-vivo studies. Its use in prophylaxis is derived from the available evidence of benefit as treatment and supported by preclinical data,” the advisory said.
ICMR told the states that the placing of healthcare workers under chemoprophylaxis with hydroxy-chloroquine should not instil a sense of false security.
Meanwhile, Raman Gangakhedkar, senior scientist at the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), on Tuesday warned against using a drug called hydroxychloroquine against coronavirus without medical prescription.
Speaking to the media at a press conference, Gangakhedkar said, “Do not go for COVID-19 test just on suspicion or consume hydroxychloroquine medicine without a doctor’s prescription because the medicine has its side effects. Observe social distancing even at home with your family member’s.”
Gangakhedkar also said that although the ICMR approved to give hydroxychloroquine in some cases but it was still at an experimental level.
“The empiric use of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis of SARS-Cov-2 infection is recommended only for asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases,” he said.
Gangakhedkar added that the ICMR would not recommend the medicine for children below 15 years and elderly people above 60 years of age as it had many side effects on kidney and heart.
“There is sufficient access to testing so there is no need to panic. It is not just government’s responsibility to keep you healthy but you will have to be responsible for your own health. Therefore, follow all the instructions of social distancing given by the government,” said the doctor.
Recently, the FDA also freed India’s IPCA from import ban so that it can ship unproven COVID-19 treatments. The FDA in 2015 banned products from three IPCA manufacturing facilities.