The Indian government said on Wednesday that it is banning the export of hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from the medication, as experts test the efficacy of the drug in helping treat patients infected with COVID-19.
There are currently no approved treatments, or preventive vaccines for Covid-19, the highly contagious, sometimes deadly respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus. Researchers are studying existing treatments and working on experimental ones, but most current patients receive only supportive care such as breathing assistance.
Hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, is among the medications that are being tested, as a potential treatment for patients with the disease. Earlier this week, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), which maintains a list of drug shortages, said hydroxychloroquine was in shortage.
Govt bans export of sanitisers, ventilators with immediate effect
The government on Tuesday banned export of all sanitisers and ventilators with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. "Export of all sanitisers...is prohibited, with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
It also banned exports of all types of ventilators, including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance or device. Last week, it had banned export of certain ventilators, surgical and disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks.
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There is a shortage of hand sanitisers and face masks in the market amid the coronavirus outbreak as people resorted to panic buying.