India has HCQ stocks to last next three months: Gowda

Last Updated 25 May 2020, 16:09 IST

India has enough stocks of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to last another three months, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda said Monday.

“The HCQ requirement is 95 lakh tablets every month. We have stocks for the next three months. Any exports will be done after ensuring we have what’s required for domestic use,” Gowda told reporters.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended HCQ as a preventive medicine for all asymptomatic healthcare workers working in COVID and non-COVID hospitals.

In addition, the medicine has been recommended for use in surveillance workers deployed in containment zones, police and paramilitary personnel involved in COVID-19 related activities and asymptomatic household contacts of confirmed cases.Gowda also said that the country had sufficient stock of azithromycin.

“This is an antibiotic. The yearly requirement is 2.2 crore tablets against which we currently have 9.6 crore tablets. So, there’ll be no problem,” he said.

“Paracetamol, which is used for everything including minor fever, we have 482 crore tablets in stock.”

Gowda said the inventory is reviewed once in three days. “The idea is to achieve PM Narendra Modi’s vision for Atma Nirbhar Bharat; we shouldn’t depend on anyone. Imagine the US President asking India for HCQ, and when Italy, Germany and Japan have placed demands,” Gowda said.

Gowda was speaking after chairing a meeting with Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar and others. He was told by the state government that RT-PCR, RNA extraction and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits were needed.

“I will immediately raise this with the Ministry of Home Affairs and ICMR,” Gowda said.

(Published 25 May 2020, 16:09 IST)

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